Zuma letter led to Mdluli’s removal

2012-05-09 14:16

Serious allegations of corruption and nepotism against him were not the reasons behind the shock removal of crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli this afternoon.

A careful reading of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s statement to Parliament shows that Mdluli was removed to allow State Law Adviser Enver Daniels the opportunity to investigate claims made by Mdluli that senior police officers were plotting against him.

Mdluli outlined these allegations in a strangely phrased

letter which he addressed to President Jacob Zuma, Mthethwa himself, and acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi in November last year.

City Press revealed on Sunday that Mdluli suggested in the letter that he would “assist the president to succeed next year” if he was reinstated to the position of crime intelligence boss.

Mthethwa addressed the crisis in the crime intelligence division during his budget speech in Parliament today.

Speaking about the allegations against Mdluli – who had faced charges of murder and fraud – Mthethwa said: “We want to say processes which are currently before our criminal justice system would have to be observed by all to their logical conclusions.”

The minister probably referred to a judicial inquest into the death of Vosloorus resident Oupa Ramogibe in 1999, as well as an ongoing investigation by the Hawks into the mismanagement of a secret service account.

Mdluli was, together with three others, previously accused of murdering Ramogibe, with whose wife he was romantically involved. But charges were controversially withdrawn in February.

The Hawks are investigating charges that Mdluli and other high-ranking crime intelligence officials looted a R200 million secret service account for their personal benefit.

The unit found that Mdluli employed at least seven family members in crime intelligence, kitted them out with luxury cars and rented houses he owned to his own division.

Mthethwa assured Parliament that Advocate Faith Radebe, the Inspector General of Intelligence, was looking into the “financial management” of the crime intelligence division.

The minister then moved to discuss “unfortunate public accusations and counter-accusations within the management of SAPS”.

This, he said, was sparked by Mdluli’s letter to him, Zuma and Mkhwanazi in which he accused Hawks boss Anwa Dramat, Gauteng police chief Mzwandile Petros and police head of detectives, Godrey Lebeya, of plotting against him.

“This letter seems to have political connotations and has caused tensions within the management of SAPS. It alludes to some conspiracy theory of some in the management ganging up against him.

“I have instituted a task team, led by the State Law Adviser to investigate such allegations because they are so serious as to suggest the meddling of policing functions in politics,” Mthethwa said.

This effectively means Mdluli was removed from his job to allow for an investigation into claims he made against his colleagues.

Mthethwa, in consultation with Mkhwanazi, decided to shift Mdluli from his position while the probe is underway.

Mdluli has been informed of the decision “and has pledged his support to the process”.

Mthethwa said he was “deliberately and purposefully” reiterating the “clarity of process” as there has been some “misrepresentation, false allegations and to a certain extent genuine concerns about the goings on within SAPS.

“We have resisted the temptation and we shall stick to our principles of respect for all legal processes of the land”.

READ: Mdluli’s letter to Zuma

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