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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Richard Mdluli’s slush fund case set for trial in October

The case against Mdluli has been delayed for years, mainly due to his bid to compel the police to pay his legal fees.


The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ordered that former Crime Intelligence (CI) boss Richard Mdluli’s fraud and corruption trial will start in October.

The decision by the court comes after almost 13 years of delays in the case.

Mdluli and his co-accused, former SAPS supply chain manager Heine Barnard and former chief financial officer of the State Security Agency (SSA) Solomon Lazarus, made a brief appearance in the Pretoria High Court on Monday.

Trial

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the Pretoria High Court postponed the corruption case against Mdluli and his two co-accused, to 07 October 2024 for trial.

“The court ordered that trial will commence on the set date regardless of the pending outcome on an application by Mdluli compelling the Saps to pay for his legal fees.”

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Corruption

The trio faces charges of corruption, fraud and theft in connection with allegations of gross abuse of the police intelligence secret slush fund from the time they were employed by the SAPS in Crime Intelligence, between 2008 and 2012.

They include payments of private trips to China and Singapore, private use of witness protection houses, conversion of the property for personal use and the leasing of Mdluli’s private residence to the state in order to pay his bond, among other allegations.

This comes after Mdluli notified the court in February of his intention to take SAPS’ decision declining funding for his legal costs on legal review.

Mdluli wants the SAPS to pay for his legal fees because the criminal acts he is charged with happened while he was employed by the police.

However, police have refused his application to fund his defence, arguing that the charges he was facing had nothing to do with them.

Mdluli was jailed for five years for his September 2020 conviction in connection with the kidnapping and assault of Oupa Ramogibe in 1999.  He was released on parole in July 2022 after serving a third of his sentence.

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