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Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros said he had his hands too full to be part of a conspiracy to oust crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.
“There is too much crime in Gauteng. When you get involved in a conspiracy, you need time... I have my hands full,” Lieutenant-General Petros told the National Press Club in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“I will leave it at that.”
Neither would he comment on Mdluli's reinstatement, saying he could not express his own opinions while “in uniform”.
Mdluli had reportedly claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy to have him removed from office.
According to website IOL, in a letter Mdluli wrote to President Jacob Zuma, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, he claimed he was the victim of conspiracies by police top brass who wanted him out because he was seen to be a “Zuma man”.
He reportedly named suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele, Petros, head of crime detection Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya and Hawks head Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat as the officers who had conspired to have him removed.
According to reports by City Press, accusations against Mdluli include defrauding crime intelligence to buy two new BMWs for himself and his wife, appointing several family members as secret agents, and the unauthorised use of safe houses for his personal benefit.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last week declined probing allegations of abuse of state funds against Mdluli, saying the Inspector General of Intelligence was looking into the matter.
Mdluli had faced fraud and corruption charges, as well as murder charges. The criminal charges relating to his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend Oupa Ramogibe's 1999 murder were recently withdrawn against Mdluli, court orderly Samuel Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lieutenant-Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi. He faces an inquest for that now.
The fraud and corruption charges, which City Press reported were related to improper use of crime intelligence money, were also dropped.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Glynnis Breytenbach, who was working on the Mdluli case, has been suspended. She was regional head of the NPA in Gauteng's specialised commercial crime unit.
The NPA however said there was no link between her suspension and the Mdluli matter. – Sapa