Former police minister Nathi Nhleko did not deal with Richard Mdluli's perpetual suspension

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Former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.
Former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.
Lulama Zenzile, Gallo Images
  • Former police minister Nathi Nhleko, who held the position for almost three years, did not deal with the perpetual suspension of Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
  • Mdluli, who was suspended in 2011, received his full salary plus benefits while suspended.
  • In 2018, Mdluli was granted early service termination, which included benefits.

Former police minister Nathi Nhleko, who held the position for almost three years, did not deal with the perpetual suspension of Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

This was revealed by Nhleko who was testifying before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday after he had been implicated by several people, including the former head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Robert McBride.

While Nhleko had not been implicated in any matter regarding Mdluli, he made mention of the now former intelligence boss when he explained to the commission he had assembled a reference group when he took office.

Nhleko said the reference group was put together and tasked with looking at burning issues in the police ministry. These issues included Mdluli's prolonged suspension.

READ | Mdluli has earned a full salary during suspension

He added the continuous suspension of Mdluli was a matter of interest to him.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and evidence leader advocate Garth Hulley put questions to Nhleko about the reference group's work on Mdluli's suspension.

Nhleko conceded while the reference group was tasked with looking into the matter, they did not get around to it save for the collection of a few documents here and there, but "it wasn't a complete exercise".

He said he could not address the matter himself without the reference group doing work in that area.

Nhleko, who took office in May 2014 and was moved to another portfolio as a result of a Cabinet reshuffle in March 2017, did not get clarity on Mdluli's suspension and how the issue was being dealt with at the time.

ALSO READ | Crime Intelligence boss position up for grabs

Mdluli was suspended by former police commissioner Bheki Cele in 2011 after he was arrested on 18 charges related to the 1999 murder of Oupa Abel Ramogibe - Mdluli's former girlfriend's husband.

News24 previously reported Mdluli had also been charged with fraud relating to the unlawful appointments of family members as paid police officers in Crime Intelligence as well as being accused of allegedly misusing money from the police's slush fund to purchase luxury vehicles for family members.

These charges were withdrawn but later reinstated.

In 2017, News24 reported Mdluli had cost taxpayers around R8.3 million since his suspension.

The police minister at the time, Fikile Mbalula, said Mdluli was paid a basic salary of almost R5 million, a non-pensionable cash allowance of almost R1.4 million, an employee pension contribution of almost R800 000 and a car allowance of more than R700 000.

He also received a salary bonus of R413 957.

In 2018, Mdluli was granted early service termination, which included benefits.

In 2019, he and co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi were finally found guilty of assaulting and kidnapping Ramogibe.

Mdluli was found guilty on four counts of intimidation, two counts of kidnapping, two of common assault and two of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in July 2019, News24 reported.

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