News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
19 Sep 2019
4:12 pm

Mrwebi deliberately acted to stop Mdluli probe, Zondo hears

News24 Wire

Former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli faced charges of fraud, theft and corruption, but 'frustrated the investigations'.

Advocate Lawrence Mrwebi at the Mokgoro Enquiry in Centurion, 20 February 2019. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / African News Agency (ANA)

Senior Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse has told the state capture commission that former Crime Intelligence (CI) boss Richard Mdluli failed to co-operate with officers while he was under investigation for fraud and corruption.

Instead, he frustrated the investigation, the commission heard.

Mdluli faced charges of fraud, theft and corruption for allegedly pillaging the Crime Intelligence slush fund. The charges were withdrawn in 2011.

Testifying for a third day before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Thursday, Roelofse said: “He (Mdluli) frustrated the investigations by certain actions he took.”

“His suspension was lifted on 31st March 2012. During that period [when] he went back to work, I was informed by Crime Intelligence members, quite a few of them, that General Mdluli came and tried to identify the CI members who assisted me in the investigation,” he said.

Roelofse said more than 20 Crime Intelligence members were transferred within days of Mdluli’s return.

On April 4, 2012, Mdluli released a circular to all Crime Intelligence members, warning them against disclosing classified information to the media or other bodies who were not authorised to receive such information, Roelofse said.

He said soon after the circular was issued, Crime Intelligence members no longer assisted him.

Referring to the withdrawal of the charges against Mdluli, Roelofse said: “I have never encountered anything like this before. That is why I felt, at the time when the decision was taken and the reasons that were advanced for this just don’t make sense.”

“It was not just resistance. It was a deliberate attempt not to continue with the investigation.”

Asked if there were key individuals who were part of deliberate attempts to stop the investigation, Roelofse said he could not speculate when it came to former deputy prosecutions boss, Nomgcobo Jiba.

“But in terms of advocate [Lawrence] Mrwebi, he knew what happened. He was briefed by policemen… he should have known that it is not the way to deal with that matter. He didn’t consult with myself, nor the prosecutor on the matter. I felt this was done deliberately in order to stop the investigation,” Roelofse said.

In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa fired Jiba and Mrwebi after retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro recommended that he sack them from the NPA following an inquiry.

The inquiry found that both of them were “not fit and proper to hold their respective offices”.

Mokgoro’s report stated that Jiba’s conduct, on multiple occasions, showed a “lack of conscientiousness”, while Mrwebi was found to have failed to act without favour and to the prejudice of the NPA.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.