17 January 2018

South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Richard Mdluli, a Man Who Damaged Our Society

analysis

Jacob Zuma may never have become president if it were not for Richard Mdluli. The story of the man who is now finally leaving the formal position of head of the Police Crime Intelligence Unit is intrinsically linked with that of Zuma, and his rise to power. Now, in a week in which the Assets Forfeiture Unit has started to freeze the assets of companies linked to the Guptas, less than a month after someone who is not Zuma's ex-wife became leader of the ANC, Mdluli is walking the plank, just as the ANC's national executive committee starts to withdraw into a four-day conclave. By STEPHEN GROOTES.

Ten years ago South Africa was a very different place. There was still hope, then, that a strong political leader, despite having the political leverage of being head of the ANC, may not be able to ascend to the Union Buildings if facing serious corruption charges. The charges stemmed from the conviction of Schabir Shaik and Zuma knew a legal reason was needed to drop them. It seems likely that Mdluli provided that reason in the form of what is now called the Zuma Spy Tapes. The recordings revealed that the then former...

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