DA welcomes reinstatement of Mdluli charges

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Independent Newspapers

Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. File picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The reinstatement of charges against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli may signal steps to ensure justice for his dead love rival, the DA said on Wednesday.

“This latest development may signal the first steps in ensuring justice for the family of Oupa Ramogibe, but the NPA may still have obstacles to overcome in pursuit of a prosecution of Mdluli,” Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach said.

“We note with some concern, however, that the reinstated charges appear to be a bare-minimum approach in order to meet the deadline of the Supreme Court of Appeal.”

She said no mention was made of the initial murder, fraud and corruption charges.

On Tuesday, the National Prosecuting Authority said some charges against Mdluli had been reinstated.

“We have made a decision on which charges are to be reinstated and which are not to be reinstated,” spokesman Nathi Ncube said.

“It has been communicated to Freedom Under Law (FUL) and to the person concerned, which is Mr Mdluli. So those two have been informed.”

He would not say which charges had been reinstated.

He dismissed a report by City Press that Mdluli would be charged with kidnapping, assault, and intimidation.

Breytenbach said the Mdluli case had compromised the integrity of key state institutions and left the NPA's reputation in tatters.

“The apparent decision to have the fraud and corruption charges re-evaluated by a 'panel of experienced prosecutors' remains a matter of concern,” she said.

“These charges have already been evaluated by several very experienced prosecutors, the high court, and the Supreme Court of Appeal, all of whom have found there to be sufficient evidence to constitute a prima facie case against Mdluli and others.”

The DA commended the national director of public prosecution for “resisting political pressure” and reinstating the charges.

FUL could not be reached for comment.

Mdluli was suspended amid charges of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to the murder of his ex-lover's husband Ramogibe in February 1999.

He allegedly employed friends and family as intelligence operatives, and misused police funding to buy luxury cars.

The fraud and corruption charges were withdrawn on December 14, 2011.

In March 2012, Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence.

A month later, the NPA provisionally withdrew the murder charges, pending an inquest into the matter.

In May 2012, former police minister Nathi Mthethwa announced Mdluli would be transferred from crime intelligence to the office of the deputy national police commissioner for operations.

Later that month, he was suspended for a second time when allegations emerged from the inquest into Ramogibe's murder. In November 2012, the inquest cleared him of any involvement in the murder. In this case, Mdluli and three others were accused of killing Ramogibe, as well as charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Ramogibe allegedly received death threats after marrying Mdluli's ex-lover and was told to leave her or he would be killed.

He opened an attempted murder case before his death.

At the time, Mdluli was commander of the Vosloorus police station in Boksburg, on the East Rand, and was accused of sabotaging the investigation.

In April, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a high court ruling against the withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli.

The SCA said it could not immediately order the reinstatement of criminal prosecution and disciplinary proceedings, as this would constitute undue interference with the executive and a transgression of the separation of powers.

FUL had sought an order in the High Court in Pretoria to set aside the decisions and reinstate the charges against Mdluli.

Sapa


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