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Mdluli suspension lifted in Labour Court

Staff Reporter

The Johannesburg Labour Court has ordered acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhawanzi to allow Richard Mdluli to return to work with immediate effect.

Former spy chief Richard Mdluli. (Phil Magakoe)

The former spy boss has argued that his suspension was unlawful and should be set aside.

According to reports on Friday, judge Edwin Molahlehi agreed, ruling that Mdluli had a prima facie case because the police had not given him an opportunity to state his side in the dispute.

The ruling was unopposed by police.

However, sources say police were only expecting Mdluli to respond to the suspension on Monday.

On Friday afternoon, police spokesperson Brigadier Lindela Mashigo confirmed that papers had been served to police.

“Our legal representatives are studying that lengthy document and probably, on Monday at 10am, we will be in the labour court,” he said.

Mdluli’s laywer, Ike Motloung, declined to comment on the matter.

In May, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced that Mdluli would be moved to a different department.

Mthethwa told Parliament the formation of a task team headed by the state law advisor to investigate claims by Mdluli that he is the victim of a political conspiracy.

The move follows reports suggesting Mdluli is being protected by President Jacob Zuma and has been granted extra powers to spy on emails, phone calls and text messages since being reinstated to his position following a suspension handed down in 2011.

Mdluli has also reportedly been earmarked for the position of top cop, to replace current acting national police commissioner Major General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

Mdluli was suspended from his crime intelligence chief position after he appeared in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court in February 2011, facing murder charges relating to the 1999 death of Oupa Ramogibe — an ex-lover’s husband.

This was followed by Mdluli’s arrest in September 2011 on fraud and corruption charges alleging that he had raided a police intelligence funds for personal use.

In December last year the National Prosecuting Authority withdrew fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli, pending the outcome of an inquest into Ramogibe’s murder in February 2012, to ascertain the merits of the case against him.

Mdluli was reinstated as crime intelligence chief on March 27 this year.

At the time Mdluli said the charges were part of a political conspiracy by allies of former president Thabo Mbeki who were trying to take over police intelligence ahead of the 2012 ANC conference in Mangaung.

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