Prosecutors warn top cops are 'shielding their own from prosecution'

Prosecutors believe police management purposefully frustrated the Richard Mdluli investigation.

South African National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Prosecutors have told Eyewitness New s they believe police management including National Commissioner Riah Phiyega purposefully frustrated the investigation into former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli to shield him from prosecution.

The fraud case against Mdluli, the unit's former chief financial officer Solly Lazarus and subordinate Hein Barnard was withdrawn in the Commercial Crimes Court today.

Lazarus and Barnard are currently on trial on charges of fraud, theft and corruption in the Pretoria Regional Court.

Prosecutor Arno Rossouw and the police investigator have been trying since February to have key documents declassified, with the process culminating with former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana, asking Phiyega to step in.

It's understood that request hasn't gone further than her desk, and no explanation has been provided to the prosecution team as to why the documents have still not been declassified.

A National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) official told EWN that they believe the process was purposefully delayed, which led to the court striking the matter from the roll.

The magistrate did however make it clear that the three accused can still be charged once the police sort their problems out.

Police and NPA management have said they'll respond to questions soon.