NPA in court in bid to force start of Richard Mdluli's corruption trial

Mdluli and his two co-accused in the case, Heine Barnard and Solomon Lazarus, are facing charges of corruption, fraud and theft over allegations of 'gross abuse' of the secret services account.

FILE: Richard Mdluli arrives at the Boksburg Magistrate's Court, where he's been called to testify in the inquest into Oupa Ramogibe's 1999 murder. Picture: Barry Bateman/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Richard Mdluli are set to square off in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday for an application to force the start of the former Crime Intelligence head’s corruption trial.

Mdluli and his two co-accused in the case, Heine Barnard and Solomon Lazarus, are facing charges of corruption, fraud and theft over allegations of “gross abuse” of the secret services account.

The case has been dragging on for the last decade, though, and the accused are yet to stand trial.

The State has now launched an application to have the court order proceed now.

The State’s papers in support of its application, reveal how Mdluli’s been stringing it along for years at this point.

An affidavit from Hawks captain, Mark McLean, lays out how the State has been trying to set the matter down for trial since late 2020 but has been blocked time and time again.

The current delay in the case was prompted by an application Mdluli lodged in 2021 to have the SAPS cover his legal fees.

In January, the SAPS denied the application but he’s now indicated his plans to take the decision on review, a move which if left unchecked, could see the case delayed for years to come still.

Says McLean, justice delayed is justice denied and the ongoing delays in the case are infringing the rights of Mdluli’s co-accused to a speedy trial, as well as causing their legal costs to soar.