Acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi's office on Monday declined to confirm he had signed a notice to suspend former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

“If somebody has been given a notice of intention to suspend it is an internal matter,” said Brigadier Lindela Mashigo, spokesman for the acting national police commissioner.

“If and when somebody is suspended, then I can make it public,” he added.

Earlier Mkhwanazi told SABC radio news: “I signed a notice of suspension on Sunday (May 13) but other than that I'm not sure... was it delivered and what's the latest on it.”

On Friday, Mdluli told the public broadcaster he had not been served with a suspension notice.

Mkhwanazi said it was up to “a deputy national commissioner” to communicate to Mdluli.

Mkhwanazi said after Mdluli was removed as crime intelligence head earlier this month: “He was going to report to one of the deputy national commissioners, and he is the one communicating with Mdluli, not me.”

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced on May 9 that Mdluli would be moved from crime intelligence to a position in the office of the deputy national police commissioner for operations, Fannie Masemola.

Mdluli was first suspended in 2011 when he was arrested on fraud and murder allegations, but that suspension was lifted in March this year. Mthethwa then announced his move.

Since then, several media have reported he was served with a second suspension notice and that he had until Tuesday to give reasons as to why he should not be suspended again. – Sapa