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A top-level task team appointed by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in May to probe allegations made by controversial former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli has cleared four senior SAPS generals of a conspiracy against Mdluli.
In a letter in which he pledged to assist President Jacob Zuma “to succeed next year” if he was allowed to return to work, Mdluli claimed that former national police commissioner Bheki Cele, Hawks head Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat, operational services head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya and Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros were ganging up against him in a bid to discredit him and prevent him from rising in the police ranks.
However, in a statement on Thursday, Mthethwa said the task team – headed by chief state law adviser Enver Daniels – had found the four had not been not involved in any conspiracy.
“The task team has found no evidence suggesting that the (above-mentioned) senior police officials were involved in any kind of conspiracy against Lieutenant-General Mdluli. The conclusion and findings are that the officials accused by Lieutenant-General Mdluli of working together against him had acted professionally, in good faith and with due care and regard for the sensitivity of the matter,” Mthethwa said.
The team had also found that the source for Mdluli’s claims “could not corroborate its information”.
Mdluli was removed as head of crime intelligence to allow the task team to probe his claims.
In his letter alleging the conspiracy, which was sent to President Jacob Zuma, Mthethwa and to then-acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Mdluli said he had received three affidavits in relation to a conspiracy against him. He said he had received information in November that disciplinary processes would be used to replace him.
Mthethwa and Zuma have denied receiving the letter.
“It is alleged that I support the minister of police and the president of the country. In the event that I come back to work, I will assist the president to succeed next year (2012),” the letter said, in reference to the ANC’s coming elective conference in December.
Mdluli cited Cele, Petros, Lebeya and Dramat as the four senior officers who had been working together against him and who “even overlooked the Secret Service Act on covert activities at crime intelligence in order to implicate me”.
“The four mentioned officers also had a meeting where they planned that I must be fired from the police before General Cele is suspended,” the letter read.
Mdluli concluded his letter by saying he was working for his family and that he wanted to return to work.
Mthethwa said the terms of reference for the task team were to collate information, including the letter, as well as to consult all the people mentioned in it and to provide in-depth analysis and compile a final report.
He said the team had completed its work in the stipulated period of one month.