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Police services will not be affected - Mthethwa

Police Minister says the probe into SA's top cops wont affect the fight against crime.

Bheki Cele, Richard Mdluli and Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi. Picture: EWN
SAPS,Richard Mdluli,Nathi Mthethwa,Bheki Cele,Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli saga,Zweli Mnisi,Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi,Maggie Sotyu
Local

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the South African Police Service (SAPS) was committed to not letting the controversy around senior officials in the service affect the fight against crime.

The minister met with his deputy Maggie Sotyu and other police management on Sunday, to review the current challenges faced by the department.

Spokesperson for police Zweli Mnisi said authorities want to assure South Africans the fight against crime will not be compromised as a result of investigations into senior officials.

An interdict was granted against suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli last week by the North Gauteng High Court.

The ruling forbids him from performing any duties within the service, pending an application to reinstate criminal and disciplinary charges against him.

The interdict application was filed by constitutional organisation Freedom Under Law (FUL).

The policeman was first suspended in 2011, pending the outcome of investigations into charges of fraud, corruption, nepotism and murder.

He was accused of abusing state funds from a secret police account and buying luxury cars and goods with the money.

He was also accused of hiring and promoting his relatives.

Mdluli was further implicated in the 1999 murder of Oupa Ramogibe, the boyfriend of his former lover.

All charges were dropped in March, but an inquest into the murder charge will continue.

Acting National Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi suspended the controversial policeman for a second time in May after serious allegations emerged.

Mdluli is appealing the recent suspension.

At the same time, it has been reported that President Jacob Zuma informed suspended National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele that he will be fired, but an official announcement is still expected.

A board of inquiry found Cele guilty of maladministration and misconduct earlier this year.

Zuma set up the inquiry to probe allegations of maladministration exposed by the Public Protector.

A damning report by Thuli Madonsela revealed that lease deals for two controversial police buildings were unlawful.

Her office also questioned Cele’s conduct in the procurement process.

It emerged this weekend that Zuma and Cele met in Durban, but details of the meeting are unknown.

The Presidency said Zuma will announce Cele's fate as soon as he has completed all necessary processes.

Eyewitness News also learnt that Cele was considering turning to the courts if he was fired.

Cele has supposedly drawn up court documents and is waiting for Zuma to publicly announce his dismissal.

He is expected to approach the high courts, not only challenging the president’s decision, but the findings of the board of inquiry.

Cele's spokesperson, Vuyo Mkhize, also declined to comment on the latest developments and said he will only do so once the president has made his announcement.

In further controversy, The Star newspaper reported last Thursday that Mkhwanazi authorised the usage of funds from a secret service account for operational expenditure.

The authorisation was in contravention of the Secret Service Act.

It is alleged that an amount of R35 million was spent on a fleet of luxury vehicles.

Mkhwanazi dismissed the allegations citing a conspiracy by unnamed forces to derail his probabilities of acquiring the national commissioner's post.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)

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