Richard Mdluli to receive declassified documents to prepare for 'slush fund' trial

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Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24
  • Former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his two co-accused are facing charges of corruption and fraud relating to the alleged looting of the secret service slush fund. 
  • The three accused will soon be able to prepare for trial as declassified documents relating to the case will be handed over by the State within seven days. 
  • The case has been marred by delays and alleged interference since it was opened in 2011.

Former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli will soon be able to prepare for his trial as the now-declassified documents relating to the pillaging of the secret slush fund will be handed over by the State within seven days.  

Mdluli and his co-accused – former Crime Intelligence chief financial officer Solomon Lazarus and former supply chain manager Heine Barnard - appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.

The three accused are facing multiple counts of fraud, corruption, theft and defeating the ends of justice in connection with the alleged looting of the secret service account.

News24 reported on Wednesday that Mdluli allegedly bought five vehicles between 2009 and 2011 - including a BMW 530d, an E-Class Mercedes-Benz and a Lexus - with funds from the account.

READ | Richard Mdluli allegedly looted Crime Intelligence secret service account, state capture inquiry hears

He also allegedly used the account to pay for his family's private overseas trips and used R190 000 for security upgrades at his private home in Boksburg, Gauteng.

Alleged

This was alleged before the Zondo commission by Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse.

These accusations date back to 2011 but the case against the accused has been marred by delays and alleged interference. 

News24 previously reported despite a prima facie case against Mdluli and his co-accused, prosecutors at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were forced to withdraw the charges and struck the case from the roll in 2011.

This was claimed by North Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sibongile Mzinyathi and former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach before the Mokgoro inquiry.

Then-special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi gave the order.

The inquiry was tasked with establishing whether Mrwebi and former deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba were fit for office.

READ | Mokgoro inquiry: Mzinyathi forced to withdraw charges against Mdluli

There was also the issue of getting certain documents declassified, which only happened in December 2019.

The court on Thursday heard the declassified documents would be handed over to the defence so that they can prepare for trial.

Heard

The case has been transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria and will be heard on 10 November.

In a statement, the head of the NPA's Investigative Directorate, advocate Hermione Cronje, said when she took office in May 2019, her team immediately brought up the request for declassification.

"The investigators were frustrated with the long delays. I'm pleased that within seven days from today the defence will receive those documents in order to prepare for trial," Cronje added.

"There is a serious appetite from law enforcement to finalise cases which had been stalled for nefarious reasons. We once again must state that we are systematically moving up the ladder." 

READ | Mdluli and his co-accused found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting his former lover's husband

In another case, sentencing proceedings against Mdluli and co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi for the kidnapping and assault of Oupa Ramogibe will be heard on 28 and 29 September in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

In July 2019, Mdluli and Mthunzi were found guilty of kidnapping and assault.

Ramogibe was married to Mdluli's former lover, Tshidi Buthelezi, who died of an illness while Ramogibe was gunned down in 1999.

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