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The presidency has denied reports that President Jacob Zuma was given a letter by former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli about a “conspiracy” against him.
“The media has alleged that Lt-Gen Mdluli gave the president a letter accusing four top police officers of a conspiracy against him. The president has never received such a letter. Neither has the presidency,” it said in a statement on Friday.
“The media has also insinuated that the president wishes to appoint... Mdluli as a national commissioner of police. General Bheki Cele remains the national police commissioner and the president has not announced any intention of appointing a new commissioner.”
The presidency said reports that Zuma interfered in Mdluli's investigation, and that he attended a party to celebrate Mdluli's acquittal, were “complete fabrications”.
“We wish to urge the media to be cautious and stick to the facts when reporting such matters,” it said.
“With the regards to the way forward, the minister of police (Nathi Mthethwa) has announced the steps that he is taking to attend to the matter relating to... Mdluli.”
The letter, written by Mdluli in November, was addressed to Zuma, Mthethwa and acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
In it Mdluli reportedly wrote that Cele, Hawks head Lt-Gen Anwa Dramat, operational services head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya and Gauteng police commissioner, Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petrus, were ganging up against him.
On Friday, Mthethwa announced the members of a team that would investigate the claims made in the letter.
“As the minister stated during his budget vote speech in Parliament on Wednesday, the letter seems to have political connotations and has caused tensions within the management of the SA Police Service,” his spokesman Zweli Mnisi said in a statement.
“During his address... Mthethwa announced that he had instituted a task team to investigate these allegations, because they are so serious as to suggest the meddling of policing functions in politics.”
The team would be led by chief state law adviser Enver Daniels and would consist of Lt-Gen Abel Mxolisi Shilubane from the defence force, Stan Noosi from state security and SAPS head of legal services, Lt-Gen Julius Molefe.
“The terms of reference for the task are to collate the information, including the letter as well as consultation with all the affected people mentioned in the letter, provide in-depth analysis and thereafter compile a report,” Mnisi said.
“The report will also give clear recommendations on the way forward. The team has already met and is expected to complete the investigation within a month from now.”
On Wednesday, Mthethwa announced that Mdluli would be shifted from his current position and moved to another division.
Last year, Mdluli faced fraud and corruption charges relating to alleged misuse of a crime intelligence fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles and the hiring of family members.
He also faced a murder charge for the alleged murder of the boyfriend of a former girlfriend.
Both sets of charges have been withdrawn.
The murder charge became an inquest.
The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that Mdluli denied involvement in murder and fraud.
In an interview with the newspaper, Mdluli said the allegations derived from a “racist” plot by white Western Cape policemen who were investigating him. The journalists who had been writing “bad things” about him were also all white.
“I have never been involved in a murder... For the 33 years I have been in the police, I have never pulled the trigger and killed a person in my life,” he said. - Sapa