NPA distances itself from Mrwebi comments

2014-09-02 18:03
 Lawrence Mrwebi, (Herman Verwey, Beeld)

Lawrence Mrwebi, (Herman Verwey, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The NPA on Tuesday distanced itself from comments specialised commercial crime unit head Lawrence Mrwebi made about Judge John Murphy.

Murphy was the high court judge who ruled in Freedom Under Law's favour and set aside the decision to withdraw charges of fraud, money laundering, murder and disciplinary proceedings against former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

Mrwebi has insisted there was no basis to charge Mdluli.

"I have maintained a consistent position, though misinterpreted by Judge Murphy, that the case against Mdluli was defective, and that the matter was prematurely enrolled, as there was no evidence linking him to the crimes," the Sunday Independent quoted him as saying.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Mrwebi's view did not reflect its own.

Independence of the judiciary

"The institution respects the independence of the judiciary, and fully understands the role which the judiciary plays in strengthening our democracy and its responsibility to assist in this process by giving effect to the judgments of the courts," it said.

"Therefore the NPA distances itself from remarks that seek to undermine court judgments."

Last month, Mdluli was formally charged in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge. He faces charges including kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, intimidation, and defeating the ends of justice related to a 15-year-old crime.

Charges against Mdluli were reinstated earlier this year after the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a high court ruling against the withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against him.

Mdluli was suspended amid allegations of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to the murder of his ex-lover's husband Oupa Ramogibe in February 1999.

In the 15-year-old case, Mdluli and three others were initially accused of killing Ramogibe, of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Death threats

Ramogibe allegedly received death threats after marrying Mdluli's former girlfriend and was told to leave her or he would be killed. He opened an attempted murder case before his death.

At the time, Mdluli was station commander of the Vosloorus police station in Boksburg, on the East Rand. He was accused of sabotaging the investigation.

He allegedly intimidated and assaulted the family and friends of his ex-lover to find out where she had moved to when she got married.

The fraud and corruption charges relate to Mdluli's time as crime intelligence unit head.

He is accused of employing family members and friends as intelligence operatives, and misusing police money to buy luxury cars.

The fraud and corruption charges were withdrawn on 14 December 2011. In March 2012, Mdluli was reinstated as crime intelligence head.

A month later, the NPA provisionally withdrew the murder charges, pending an inquest into the matter.

In May that year, then police minister Nathi Mthethwa announced Mdluli would be transferred from crime intelligence to the office of the deputy national police commissioner for operations.

Later, he was suspended for a second time when allegations emerged from the inquest into Ramogibe's murder. In November 2012, the inquest cleared Mdluli of any involvement in the murder.

Read more on:    npa  |  richard mdluli  |  lawrence mrwebi

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