DA to request investigation into lifting of Mdluli suspension
Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police
1 April 2012
I will be writing to the Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, to request that the decision to lift the suspension of Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli amid allegations of fraud and murder is investigated.
Given the fact that, according to recent reports, the Inspector General of Intelligence Adv. Faith Radebe is deeply embroiled in this saga and potentially compromised due to serious questions about her involvement in the matter, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will seek advice from Adv. Madonsela.
Adv. Madonsela’s investigation should also cover the termination of the internal police disciplinary process involving Mdluli. Additionally, it is imperative that the Public Protector’s inquiry extend to include the head of the division's secret services account, Major General Solly Lazarus, whose suspension was also lifted.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa continue to remain silent on the questionable decision to lift the suspension. The denial by the Presidency that it unduly interfered in the Mdluli saga also does not provide a satisfactory explanation.
Reports in the City Press today indicating that acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi is threatening to quit after being ordered by Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa to lift Mdluli’s suspension reveal the seriousness of this situation.
The Public Protector, in terms of section 6(4)(a) of the Public Protector Act, is empowered to investigate maladministration in connection with the affairs of government at any level, as well as abuse or unjustifiable exercise of power or unfair, capricious or other improper conduct or undue delay by a person performing a public function.
The DA believes that the decision to lift Mdluli’s suspension amid such serious allegations and unanswered questions is irregular and that it is within the Public Protector’s power to probe these recent developments.
The report into the conduct of Mdluli and Lazarus, drafted by Major General Mark Hankel and signed off by then-acting crime intelligence boss Chris de Kock, reveals that:
- Mdluli’s family members were appointed to the crime intelligence agent programme without performing any undercover operations;
- Mdluli allegedly abused covert state vehicles that he was not entitled to;
- a crime intelligence whistle-blower was abducted by other crime intelligence operatives;
- a “prominent person” from KwaZulu-Natal was allegedly placed in crime intelligence to influence suspended police boss Bheki Cele;
- Mdluli “abused” a travel agent in Durban, with he and his family travelling more than 50 times on the state’s cost; various safe houses were rented by the police for the sole use of Mdluli and his family;
- two journalists were allegedly paid – one R100 000 to write a positive story about the police and the other R50 000 not to publish a story about a senior cop; and
- evidence was uncovered from which it ¬appears that crime intelligence “sought to influence political processes in KwaZulu-Natal through the deployment of a select few covert intelligence fieldworkers” in the province. This included “buying influence and access”.
The DA remains adamant that Mdluli must have his day in court to answer to what has been described as a “slam-dunk case”. Until such time, neither Mdluli nor Lazarus should be reinstated in their same roles, given that their positions are now severely compromised.
The Public Protector must therefore investigate the decision to lift the suspension and make the appropriate recommendations.