Mdluli faces anxious wait over FUL case

Judgement in Freedom Under Law's application against Richard Mdluli will be delivered on Wednesday.

Former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The judge hearing Freedom Under Law's (FUL) application against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli said the matter is of "paramount national importance" and he is duty bound to rule on it urgently.

Judgment will be delivered in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The constitutional organisation on Tuesday asked the court to interdict Mdluli from executing any duties as a police officer until there is a full review of the decision to reinstate him.

Acting National Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkwananzi suspended Mdluli last week. He faces a raft of allegations, including murder, fraud and corruption.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba described the events of the last few days surrounding Mdluli as a "merry-go-round", while FUL's lawyer Vincent Maleka told the court the matter had become a "ping-pong game".

Makgoba stressed the urgency of the case and even commented he would not sleep to ensure judgment was delivered on Wednesday.

Mdluli's lawyer Ike Motloung urged the judge not to grant the interdict as it would amount to a suspension. He said his client should not be used as a political football.

Maleka said it was imperative the order be granted, as his client could not trust the suspension process of the South African Police Service.

Mdluli's health was also the central point at the hearing. It was confirmed the policeman is suffering from stress and hypertension and has been booked off from work.

The lieutenant general was initially suspended last year and reinstated as head of the Crime Intelligence Unit in March, after all charges against him were withdrawn. But Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa moved the policeman to the operations department last month.

The Johannesburg Labour Court is currently hearing the policeman's appeal of his recent suspension.