Now Mdluli fights back

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SOLLY MAPHUMULO

[email protected]

SUSPENDED head of crime intelligence Richard Mdluli is expected to

challenge his suspension in court after his lawyers sent a letter to the acting national police commissioner, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, demanding that it be done by Wednesday this week.

In the letter, Mdluli asked Mkhwanazi to give him reasons for his suspension.

Several sources told The Star that if Mkhwanazi didn’t uplift his suspension, he would take the matter to the labour court.

Mdluli and Solly Lazarus, the chief financial officer of the secret services account, were served with notices of an intention to suspend two weeks ago.

But Lazarus is said to have hit back at Mkhwanazi, informing him that he had no powers to investigate him, The Star understands. He said he had contravened neither the Secret Service Act nor the policy of the secret services account. As a result, Lazarus is still at work.

Mdluli’s second suspension has been interpreted to indicate an increasing defiance by Mkhwanazi of political attempts to bury the Mdluli investigation.

Mkhwanazi has previously expressed his unhappiness over how police decisions on certain cases have been dictated by “powers beyond us” – and was understood to be referring to the Mdluli saga.

Mdluli’s latest letter of suspension said he was being suspended because the investigators probing Oupa Ramogibe’s death felt threatened working alongside him.

Ramogibe – who was killed more than a decade ago – was married to a woman who had been Mdluli’s girlfriend.

The charges against Mdluli and his three co-accused were withdrawn more than two months ago, pending the outcome of an inquest into the death. The inquest is expected to get going in September.

In his notice of intention to suspend, Mkhwanazi also said Mdluli had mismanaged the secret services slush fund account.

When The Star contacted Mdluli’s lawyer, Ike Motloung, yesterday, he refused to confirm whether the controversial head of crime intelligence had taken his bosses to court. But Motloung’s colleague, Wisani Mabaso, was at the labour court yesterday.

Mabaso also refused to confirm that he had come to submit papers.

Meanwhile, The Star has learnt that the divisional commissioner for career management, Manoko Nchwe, has resigned after she was served with a notice of suspension yesterday.

The notice said she had abused a secret services’ Audi Q7. The Star understands that Nchwe has been using the car for covert work. The car was registered in Nchwe’s name but was being used by underground operatives. The car has since been returned to Crime Intelligence.

Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said a notice of intention to suspend was “usually treated” as employer-to-employee business. “The act of filing papers at the court has not come to our attention as yet.”

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