'Mdluli guilty in court of public opinion'

Richard Mdluli’s lawyer said his client has already been found guilty by the public.

Suspended Policeman Richard Mdluli. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA - Suspended policeman Richard Mdluli has already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Ike Motloung said his client should not be treated as a "political football".

Mdluli and the acting National Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi on Tuesday opposed Freedom Under Law (FUL)'s application in the North Gauteng High Court.

The organisation wants the court to grant an order preventing the controversial cop from carrying out his duties.

In May, Mdluli was suspended following allegations of fraud, corruption, nepotism and murder.

Motloung attacked FUL's argument saying it relied on gossip and innuendo from the media.

He also launched an attack on the organisation's international donors, suggesting this matter could drag on for years with the kind of financial backing it has.

Mdluli's health also came under the spotlight.

According to statement from Mdluli, he is suffering from stress and hypertension.

But Motloung said this will not stop his client from doing his job.

Earlier, Judge Ephraim Makgoba regularly intervened and pushed SAPS Advocate Mandla Zulu to explain why Mkhwanazi was opposing FUL's application if he genuinely wants Mdluli suspended.

Zulu assured the judge there was no reason not to trust the commissioner.

On Sunday, the Labour Court in Johannesburg granted the SAPS an urgent interdict after the same court earlier lifted Mdluli's suspension.