Moves to suspend Mdluli … again

2012-05-18 00:00

CONTROVERSIAL top cop Richard Mdluli has been told by his bosses to give reasons why he should not be suspended.

City Press has received confirmation from police sources that both Mdluli and Major General Solly Lazarus, finance head of the crime intelligence unit, were yesterday served with notices of the police’s intention to suspend them.

This is the latest salvo in a police “war” between Mdluli and his superiors, including acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

Mkhwanazi told the Times last week he was “cleaning house and will not stop until all the bad apples, regardless of who they are, are removed”.

It is known that Mkhwanazi believes Mdluli should not be back in the police. He fiercely resisted pressure from Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to reinstate Mdluli in March.

The Daily News reported yesterday that Mdluli and Lazarus had been served with the notices by Lieutenant-General L.J. Motheba of the police’s legal services.

According to the newspaper, Lazarus’s notice stated that “additional and new information had come to light on earlier alleged instances of him mismanaging the crime intelligence fund”.

Lazarus was also previously suspended from the police, but reinstated with Mdluli after pressure from Mthethwa.

Mdluli is the former head of crime intelligence who was moved sideways by Mthethwa last week to allow a task team head by chief state law adviser Enver Daniels to investigate claims by Mdluli that senior cops were conspiring against him.

Ike Motloung, Mdluli’s lawyer, said he had “no comment” on the latest move by the police.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma yesterday tried to assure South Africans that there was “no need for alarm” about the Mdluli saga.

Speaking at a New Age business breakfast in Mangaung yesterday morning, Zuma said concerns around Mdluli would be addressed.

“Our country has enough instruments to ensure that there is no abuse of power or resources to further any objectives, especially by our intelligence and security sources,” he said.

Zuma said the Constitution had “very specific provisions” to protect citizens from a possible violation of their rights. “There is therefore no need for alarm on this matter.”

In reference to a task team established to investigate Mdluli’s claims of a conspiracy against him, he said Mthethwa “has acted on the matter that affects the crime intelligence unit and has established a task team to investigate”.

Mthethwa should be given “space to conclude this matter”, assisted by other law enforcement agencies.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence, Faith Radebe, also had “legal oversight” over the financial management of crime intelligence, he said, and could also look “at any other issue that may arise in the course of this investigation”.

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