SAPS - no comment on Mdluli

Nathi Mthethwa confirmed to Parliament that Richard Mdluli did not have security clearance.

Controversial top cop Richard Mdluli.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Police Services (SAPS) said on Wednesday, it refused to be drawn on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's revelation that controversial cop Richard Mdluli does not have security clearance. 

Mthethwa confirmed this in response to a parliamentary question on Wednesday. 

Mdluli was suspended at the weekend but has argued that his suspension was unlawful. 

Police management said it will not be discussing Mdluli's security clearance. 

Mthethwa confirmed that the former Crime Intelligence head did not have security clearance which in turn raised concerns about whether the president and cabinet ministers were placed at risk while Mdluli headed up the VIP protection services. 

Mdluli is still fighting his suspension via his lawyers who argue that it was procedurally flawed. 

Civic organisation Freedom Under Law still plans to go ahead with its court challenge while Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is investigating Mdluli’s alleged abuse of power. 

Freedom Under Law said on Tuesday it would fully cooperate with the Public Protector. 

Madonsela threatened to look into the complaint lodged by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale after Mdluli compiled a report in which he claimed Sexwale was part of a plot to oust President Jacob Zuma.

Madonsela said that as part of her preliminary investigation, she will be speaking to Freedom Under Law and the inspector general of intelligence, Faith Radebe. 

Freedom Under Law's Jeremy Gauntlett said that the decision to suspend Mdluli has no impact on their application to the High Court in Pretoria to prevent the controversial policeman from carrying out his duties. 

A 24-page document investigating Mdluli compiled by Colonel Kobus Roelofse and released in March revealed several incidents of interference in investigations. 

The report by Roelofse was addressed to the commander of the anti-corruption task team and formed part of Freedom Under Law's application in the North Gauteng High Court. 

The report revealed how an unnamed witness claimed he had heard Mdluli's ally, Major General Solly Lazarus, discussing paying journalists to write a story to cast suspicion on those individuals perceived to be a threat.

Roelofse also detailed how the chairperson of Parliament's Standing Committee on Intelligence, Cecil Burgess, was repeatedly approached by Lazarus without his division head knowing about the visits. 

Lazarus apparently attempted to convince Burgess that the Mdluli investigation compromised national security. 

Roelofse detailed how head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major-General Shadrack Sibiya, informed him that he had been taken to task by certain police generals for allowing the investigation to continue beyond its scope. 

In 2011, Mdluli faced fraud and corruption charges relating to alleged misuse of the crime intelligence fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles and the recruitment of family members.

Mdluli also faced a charge for the alleged murder of his former girlfriend's husband.