Mdluli probe not on cards for IPID

2012-04-13 18:00

Cape Town - Serious corruption allegations against crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli would not at this stage be tackled by the police's watchdog directorate, IPID executive director Francois Beukman said on Friday.

Beukman told reporters that since the claims involved abuse of the secret services account, the matter did not fall under the mandate of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), but rightly belonged with the inspector general of intelligence, Faith Radebe.

"Remember that in terms of the IPID act we have specific areas of focus and matters in the intelligence field - crime intelligence, political intelligence - that is the prerogative of the inspector general of intelligence," he said.

"In terms of the issues that have been raised in the media so far, it is indicated that it flows from matters relating to the secret services account, so that falls within the parameters of the inspector general."

Beukman added however: "Of course if there are any other matters - any member of the police involved in systemic corruption - we can look at that."

He confirmed that under the new legislation governing the directorate, it was free to investigate abuses even when it did not receive a complaint from the public or the government.

Crucially, the amended law also obliges the police to implement the findings of the watchdog, giving it teeth where before, Beukman noted, its recommendations were often ignored.

The act, which led to the renaming of the former Independent Complaints Directorate on April 1, also makes it plain that the IPID's mandate "includes corruption matters within the police".

But IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini pointed out that this did not pertain to the minister of police or the national commissioner, who [the commissioner] is not a member of the SAPS in terms of the South African Police Service Act.

Allegations of criminal misconduct have been levelled against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Mdluli - reportedly tipped to be the country's next national police commissioner - and the finance chief of the crime intelligence division (CID), Solly Lazarus.

They are said to have sanctioned the abuse of millions of rands from the secret service account for lavish homes, luxury cars and private travel, but have denied any wrongdoing.

Mdluli is also alleged to have appointed family members to the CID's covert agent programme, enabling them to get salaries and benefits at the taxpayer's expense.

The claims have been made by senior CID and Hawks staff in a leaked secret report handed to Radebe. This is only one saga dogging Mdluli, who was sidelined by now suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele last year, but was recently reinstated in his post after fraud charges against him were withdrawn in December.

In February, prosecutors withdrew charges against Mdluli and three others stemming from the 1999 murder of his love rival Oupa Ramogibe, and established an inquest to determine whether the state had enough evidence for a trial.

The inquest heard this week that key evidence in the case had been destroyed.

IPID's Dlamini recalled on Friday that in 2009, the body arrested one of the men who was charged along with Mdluli in the murder case - Colonel Nkosana Ximba - after investigating a complaint of torture against him.

But that case was struck off the roll last year because witnesses failed to appear in court.

The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that a statement presented to the murder inquest this week detailed the rapid promotions of Mdluli's co-accused through the ranks of the SAPS.

Ximba, it noted, was promoted from Constable to Colonel in 2010.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  ipid  |  solly lazarus  |  bheki cele  |  francois beukman  |  richard mdluli  |  nathi mthethwa
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