The affordable education loan option
Pretoria - An application for a review and setting aside of the decision to withdraw charges against Richard Mdluli should be referred to the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), a lawyer argued on Thursday.
Laurance Hodes SC, for the NDPP, said that instead of “marching off to court”, lobby group Freedom Under Law (FUL) should have sought the review from the NDPP.
Hodes said the Mdluli matter had been provisionally withdrawn, which did not amount to a discontinuation of the prosecution process.
Decisions on whether to prosecute lay with the NDPP, not with courts, Hodes argued.
Judge John Murphy expressed reservations about Hodes' assertion.
“So you can provisionally withdraw a matter for 25 years and that is fine?” he asked.
Murphy said if courts could not intervene, it would enable corrupt prosecutors to get away with it, as cases would be taken off the roll.
On Wednesday, Hodes urged the court to send the matter back to the NDPP. He said reviewing the Mdluli saga should not be up to the court.
“There can be no doubt that a decision to provisionally withdraw, or to finally withdraw a decision (to prosecute) falls within the powers that are ascribed to the NDPP,” he said.
FUL has brought an application for a review and setting aside of the decision to withdraw criminal and disciplinary charges against the controversial 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 The charges of fraud and corruption were also later withdrawn by the National Prosecutions Authority.
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. - Sapa