20 April 2014

South Africa: Mdluli Saga - Mthethwa and Phiyega Should Be Investigated

press release

The DA welcomes the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that charges against suspended police intelligence boss Richard Mdluli be upheld.

While this is a victory for accountability in this drawn out saga, the matter cannot be put to rest. Answers are now needed from the Police top brass for their role in this entire affair.

The actions of all those involved in this debacle, including Minister Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, must be investigated.

It is for this reason that the DA initially called for the Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela to investigate the involvement of National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega; the Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa; the then Acting Police Commissioner, Lt-Gen. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi; the Director of Public Prosecutions for South Gauteng, Andrew Chauke; Head of the National Prosecuting Authority's Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU), Lawrence Mrwebi; and then-Acting NPA Head, Nomgcobo Jiba for their varied roles in this matter.

I will again write to Adv. Madonsela and request an update on this request and ascertain whether an investigation is to be launched.

The Public Protector should specifically investigate:

The role of Lt-Gen. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi in the withdrawal of disciplinary action against Mdluli. According to last year's High Court, he "undermined the integrity of SAPS and failed to ensure that it operated transparently and accountably."

The role of Riah Phiyega, who according to last year's High Court, "failed in her constitutional duty to investigate allegations against [Richard Mdluli] and the unfeasibility of his holding of a position of trust at the highest level in SAPS."

The decision by Andrew Chauke, to withdraw murder charges against Richard Mdluli, which the court criticised and found dubious.

The "invention" of an explanation by Lawrence Mrwebi, for the dropping of corruption charges against Richard Mdluli.

The role of Nomgcobo Jiba, who, according to the court, failed in her constitutional duty by remaining "supine", in the face of the public outcry over Mdluli.

Whether Minister Mthethwa and top police officials ever attempted to cover-up allegations against Richard Mdluli.

Whether there has been any political interference in the Mdluli saga.

If there is any evidence of the above-mentioned attempt to defeat the ends of justice, all those implicated must be held to account.

The Public Protector, in terms of section 6(4)(a) of the Public Protector Act, is empowered to investigate maladministration in connection with the affairs of government at any level, as well as abuse or unjustifiable exercise of power or unfair, capricious or other improper conduct or undue delay by a person performing a public function.

In the next parliamentary term, the DA will also submit questions to ascertain: how much this dithering and shielding has cost the taxpayers; and will these funds be repaid, and by whom?

The Richard Mdluli saga is just the tip of the iceberg. Corruption is running rampant in President Zuma's government and it needs to be dealt with once and for all.

All those responsible, regardless of their position, should now face the law. The DA will do everything in its power to ensure that this happens.

Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police

South Africa

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