Mdluli’s missing dockets mystery

2012-04-28 17:36

When the Hawks raided crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli’s office last year, they found “lost” police dockets gathering dust in a safe.

One of the dockets related to the murder investigation into slain Cosatu activist and corruption whistle-blower, Moss Phakoe.

This is the latest allegation being levelled against the beleaguered Mdluli, who is tipped by some to become the next police chief. Mdluli said he wouldn’t respond to “lies”.

City Press can further reveal that:
» Advocate Faith Radebe, the Inspector General of Intelligence, on the request of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, has formally opened an investigation into Mdluli’s crime intelligence division, including expenditure from the R200 million secret service account; and

» Freedom Under Law, a rights organisation led by retired Constitutional Court Judge Johann Kriegler, is considering a legal intervention in the Mdluli matter.

Murder and fraud charges against Mdluli were controversially dropped in December and February, and he was reinstated as head of crime intelligence last month after intervention by Mthethwa.

Radebe’s spokesperson, Advocate Jay Govender, confirmed the probe by the Inspector General of Intelligence’s office.

“The investigation is under way and it is difficult at this stage to indicate time frames for the finalisation of the investigation,” she said.

Radebe previously referred the matter back to the police, saying she didn’t have the legal powers to interfere with a police investigation.

But the National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute Mdluli for fraud, saying Radebe and not the police had to investigate him.

Kriegler told City Press that Freedom Under Law was consulting its legal team about a possible legal challenge to the dropping of charges against Mdluli.

Legislation that created the Hawks allows for a retired judge to refer a complaint about undue influence or interference in a criminal matter for prosecution.

Two sources with inside information told City Press that when the Hawks raided Mdluli’s office last year, they found at least seven dockets stored in his office. Investigators couldn’t find any reason the crime intelligence boss had the dockets with him.

At the time, little progress was being made in the Phakoe murder probe being investigated by a North West provincial task team commanded by Colonel Tsietsi Mano.

Mdluli was previously based in the North West and Mano is said to be his close confidant.

Mano was promoted from captain to colonel in a week and was recently described in the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial as a “serial torturer”.

The missing murder docket included incriminating CCTV footage allegedly showing former Rustenburg mayor Mathews Wolmarans loading weapons into his car on the eve of Phakoe’s high-profile murder in March 2009.

Shortly after the Phakoe murder docket was retrieved from Mdluli’s office, four men – among them Wolmarans and his driver, MK veteran Enoch Matshaba – were arrested by the Hawks and charged in the North West High Court.

The trial is still ongoing.

Phakoe, an ANC councillor and Cosatu member, blew the whistle on alleged corruption involving Wolmarans. City Press understands that the police docket into this alleged corruption was also found in Mdluli’s office.

Devastating evidence detailing the failure of top state and ANC officials – among them President Jacob Zuma – to act on Phakoe’s corruption revelations, have so far been revealed in court.

When City Press contacted Mdluli for comment, he responded by SMS: “I don’t respond on (sic) lies, sir.”

His lawyer, Ike Motloung, sent an email to City Press this week, saying: “My client pleads not guilty to the allegations.

However, he is not prepared to play a publicity game with the media on important intelligence or undercover matters.”

One of the main state witnesses against Wolmarans and his co-accused is Phakoe’s confidant and fellow ANC councillor, Alfred Motsi.

He told the court how he and Phakoe, armed with an incriminating dossier, embarked on a fruitless mission to get the top ANC leadership to act against Wolmarans.

Motsi said this week he also had information that the Phakoe murder docket and several other criminal dockets were found in Mdluli’s office.

He believes they were handed to crime intelligence to ensure that no criminal prosecutions took place.

“I knew from the onset that these people (Mano’s task team) were given the docket to make sure that Wolmarans are (sic) not charged,” says Motsi.

The police did not respond to requests for comment.

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