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Parliament must debate Mdluli Saga

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance
14 May 2012

I have today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Max Sisulu, to request that he call a debate on a matter of public importance in terms of Rule 103 of the Rules of the National Assembly to debate the continuing Mdluli saga.

Serious questions remain as to the reinstatement of Richard Mdluli as Crime Intelligence Head, and the involvement of both the President and the Minister of Police. The decision to ‘shift’ him to a new division in the SAPS last week, instead of suspending him, has only added to the concern that Richard Mdluli is being protected from senior members of the executive – putting cadre loyalty ahead of the best interests of the country. 

Indeed, the Sunday Independent revealed yesterday that the Acting Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi confirmed that Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa had told the police to stop investigating Richard Mdluli in March.

This follows President Zuma’s announcement that he had not received a letter from Richard Mdluli where allegations are made of a conspiracy against Mdluli by several high-ranking members of the SAPS. Mthethwa himself noted that the allegations were “so serious as to suggest the meddling of policing functions in politics”.

We have tried to get clarity on a number of these issues, including attempts by my colleagues to call for a special hearing by the Portfolio Committee on Police into Richard Mdluli. This is yet to be scheduled. Nor have we received clear answers to several questions posed to the Minister of Police during the Budget Vote debate last week.

The politicization and abuse of key institutions of state is a matter of public importance. South Africa deserves to know how Richard Mdluli came to be reinstated in the first instance despite allegations that there was a ‘slam dunk case’ against him. We also need to know why, instead of being suspended, he was shifted to another division in the SAPS.

Parliament, which is constitutionally mandated to hold the executive to account, is the appropriate institution to raise these questions. The Democratic Alliance will use every available mechanism to ensure that this happens.