Mdluli's trial set down for a month

2011-09-30 18:30
Boksburg - The murder trial of suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his three co-accused has been set down for a month in the South Gauteng High Court.

The trial would start on April 10 next year and end on May 13, the Boksburg Magistrate's Court heard on Friday. Indictments had been served to all counsel.

Mdluli and three others are accused of involvement in a decade-old love triangle murder.

During a four-day bail hearing in April, Mdluli submitted that the charges were trumped up as there was a conspiracy against him by top police officials who were trying to derail his appointment.

The lieutenant general, one rank below Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele, denied involvement in the murder of his former lover's husband.

Plot

He argued that there was a plot by former president Thabo Mbeki's camp to take over crime intelligence ahead of the ANC's elective conference in 2012.

The defence questioned why the charges were brought only 12 years after the crime.

They submitted that the State had no forensic or ballistics evidence and that its case was based on suspicion.

The State contended that charges did exist in 1999, but that because Mdluli was in charge of the unit investigating the matter, he had exercised his "considerable" influence to make it disappear.

Dockets relating to the case were found in his safe, but Mdluli denied knowledge of the documentation.

The court heard that there was no direct evidence linking the four to the murder and that the State's evidence raised serious doubts.

Ballistics

A witness had seen three or four policemen running from the scene, but could not identify them.

Nine cartridges were found, but ballistics evidence could not link any of the accused to the shooting.

Mdluli and his co-accused - court orderly Samuel Dlomo, 49, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, 38, and Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi, 52 -- are charged with intimidation, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Mdluli faces an additional charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

New charges

Last week - five months after being released on bail of R20 000 - Mdluli handed himself over to authorities after fresh charges of fraud and corruption were brought against him in another case in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.

The charge sheet alleged that Mdluli had "illegally, dishonestly and without authority carried out some police work, misused or sold information or material acquired during the course of his duties, abused his position of authority, breached the trust of police and tried to conspire with others to commit offences".

The Star reported that Mdluli allegedly used money from the unit's witness protection fund to pay salaries and buy houses and cars for girlfriends and their relatives as well as his own relatives, who had been registered as covert intelligence operatives.

In one case, investigators found that a Cape Town woman was registered as an intelligence operative and paid at least R18 000 a month.

The woman's cousin and brother were also allegedly employed by crime intelligence and earned R8 000 a month.

The case was postponed to December 14 and he was released on a warning.
- SAPA
Read more on:    richard mdluli  |  corruption
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