Mrwebi 'interfered' to halt Mdluli probe, Mokgoro inquiry hears

2019-02-05 15:27
Lawrence Mrwebi Foto: HERMAN VERWEY

Lawrence Mrwebi Foto: HERMAN VERWEY

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Suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi allegedly interfered with investigations against then-crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli in order to stop the case.

This was revealed by Colonel Kobus Roelofse of the SAPS Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation on Tuesday at the Mokgoro inquiry.

The inquiry chaired by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro is looking into Mrwebi's fitness to hold office, as well as that of deputy prosecution boss Nomgcobo Jiba.

"Is there any factual basis upon which you base your allegation that advocate Mrwebi interfered in the investigations against Mdluli?" Mrewbi's lawyer Ally Ramawele asked.

READ: Mokgoro inquiry: How charges were dropped against Mdluli

Roelofse agreed, saying Mrwebi's decision made it difficult for them to investigate the matter, because of the "views" he held at the time.

Ramawele put it to Roelofse that there was no factual basis upon which he could claim that Mrwebi had stopped the Mdluli investigation.

"From where I sit… Mrwebi interfered with [the] investigation," Roelofse replied. Roelofse was appointed to investigate Mdluli in 2011. 

Mdluli was facing charges of fraud, theft and corruption for allegedly pillaging the Crime Intelligence slush fund. 

During his testimony, Roelofse also told Mokgoro that there had been a decision to inform police officers to stop the investigation.

Mdluli matter

"It was clear from communication we have received... that he [Mrwebi] was not going to review and he decided that the case is closed. I cannot see anything other than he is telling me that we must stop the case," he said.

ALSO READ: Mokgoro inquiry: Jiba denies flying to Durban with Mdluli to meet with 'someone from ANC'

But Ramawele said the Mdluli matter had never been ready, and was still not ready to go to court. He also said the reason for this was because it was never properly investigated.  

"Madam chair, that is not correct. The matter was finalised… as far as that case being trial ready and court ready, it was. The SAPS were asked that they cannot investigate the matter, that is the bottom line," Roelofse replied.

He said, at the time, that investigations were complete and that it was enough for them to go on prosecution.

He also said that, in December 2011, the prosecutor in the matter had been "happy" that the case could go on trial.

Last week, Roelofse told the inquiry that, during his investigations, he had been informed that Mdluli's family members had flights paid for from the account.

Following a search of the premises of a travel agent, Roelofse said he had managed to get a number of documents, but testified that the travel agent had been tipped off by a member of Crime Intelligence that he would be searched by officials, News24 reported.  

Read more on:    lawrence mrwebi  |  nomgcobo ­jiba  |  mokgoro inquiry
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