Mthethwa’s legal team ‘studying’ Mdluli papers

2012-05-16 08:06

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has received legal papers from Freedom Under Law (FUL) applying for the removal of Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli from the police, his spokesperson has said.

“We can confirm that we received the court papers and that our legal team are currently studying [them],” Zweli Mnisi said.

He said that as the urgent application would be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on June 5, there was time to deliberate and decide on the way forward.

FUL, which describes itself as a “not-for-profit organisation in order to promote democracy under law”, applied for an urgent interdict yesterday to prevent the former crime intelligence head from serving in the police.

FUL also applied for an interdict against Mthethwa, preventing him from moving Mdluli to a new position before a review into his reinstatement could be heard.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele, a member of FUL’s international advisory board, said in the organisation’s founding affidavit that Mthethwa suspended former police commissioners Jackie Selebi and Bheki Cele for “less serious criminal charges” than Mdluli.

“The way ... Mdluli had been dealt with by the respondents reflects an extraordinary degree of a lack of accountability and a breach of a culture of justification,” said Ramphele.

She said Mdluli’s letter, which detailed a conspiracy against him, had generated mistrust and instability in the police.

The letter, written by Mdluli in November, was addressed to President Jacob Zuma, Mthethwa and acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

In it, Mdluli reportedly wrote that Cele, Hawks head Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat, operational services head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya and Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros, were ganging up against him.

Ramphele said the task team, appointed by Mthethwa to investigate the allegations in the letter, would not resolve the problem caused by Mdluli’s reinstatement.

On Friday, the presidency denied ever having received such a letter from Mdluli.

Said Ramphele: “By his conduct, the minister accepted that there was a need to act, but has not initiated suspension proceedings, or any other measure which would remove ... Mdluli from active daily service in SAPS.”

Mthethwa announced on May 9 that Mdluli would be shifted from his position to another division in the police.

Last year, Mdluli faced fraud and corruption charges relating to alleged misuse of a crime intelligence fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles and the hiring of family members.

Crime Intelligence Tree

He also faced a murder charge following the murder of a former lover’s boyfriend, Oupa Ramogibe.

Both sets of charges were withdrawn and Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence.

The murder investigation became an inquest.

In the meantime, Mthethwa appointed a task team led by chief state law adviser Enver Daniels to investigate the claims made in the letter.

It would consist of Lieutenant General Abel Mxolisi Shilubane from the defence force, Stan Noosi from state security and SAPS head of legal services Lieutenant General Julius Molefe.

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