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Pretoria - NPA specialised commercial crimes unit head Lawrence Mrwebi did not have the power to drop charges against Richard Mdluli, lobby group Freedom Under Law (FUL) argued on Wednesday.
Vincent Maleka SC, representing FUL, said only the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) could legitimately review the prosecution.
Maleka quoted from transcripts of the disciplinary hearing of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, suggesting that Mrwebi had also not properly consulted his colleagues about the charges.
“When Mrwebi consulted (advocate Sibongile) Mzinyathi, he had already made up his mind (about dropping the charges against Mdluli),” said Maleka.
Mzinyathi is the director of public prosecutions in Pretoria.
The withdrawal of charges against Mdluli was done without the “meaningful consultation as prescribed in law”, said Maleka.
The matter, which is being heard in the High Court in Pretoria, started with an application for late submission of affidavits by Lawrence Hodes SC, for the NDPP.
News crews were allowed to film the court proceedings.
“We all agree this is a matter of great public concern. There will be no objection from us (to the filming of the proceedings),” said Maleka.
Representatives of the police and the NPA also did not object.
Maleka brought an application by FUL for a review and setting aside of the decision to withdraw criminal and disciplinary charges against Mdluli, former police crime intelligence head.
Mdluli was suspended amid charges of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to the murder of his ex-lover's husband.
An inquest cleared him of any involvement in the murder. The charges of fraud and corruption were also later withdrawn.
He was reinstated, but was again suspended in 2012 pending the court application to review the withdrawal of the criminal and disciplinary charges against him.
The court heard on Wednesday that with regard to the case involving his ex-lover's husband, Mdluli had faced 18 charges including assault, kidnapping and intimidation. - Sapa