PRETORIA – Long-suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli has been relieved off his duties from the South African Police Service.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula made the announcement at a media briefing on Wednesday.
I wish to announce that Lt. Gen Richard Mdluli who held the position of Divisional Commissioner will be relieved from his duties— Min of Police: Mr Fearfokkol (@MbalulaFikile) January 17, 2018
CI has seen 12 Acting Divisional Commissioners, this alarmed me greatly when I resumed my duties at the Police.
It’s now fixed.
I have instructed General Sitole to henceforth set out to appoint a fit and proper man or woman into the position without further delay. Again, I am saying we have no time to waste time.— Min of Police: Mr Fearfokkol (@MbalulaFikile) January 17, 2018
Mdluli had been suspended from the police since March 2011.
He and former policeman Mthembeni Mthunzi are accused of kidnapping and killing the husband of Mdluli's ex-girlfriend in 1999.
.@AlexMitchley pushes for answers about how Mdluli - an accused criminal suspended for nearly 7 years - could be granted early retirement.— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) January 17, 2018
Sithole insists: “this was done within the prescripts”.
While he has been on suspension for nearly seven years, Mdluli has continued to earn a full salary, with benefits.
Mbalula said of Mdluli’s axing: "This enables us to move to the next chapter and instil stability and vision at crime intelligence.”
Mbalula said he had instructed national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole to appoint Mdluli’s successor without further delay.
The absence of a permanent crime intelligence head had created a lack of accountability, he said.
“It is in the interests of South Africa that we have a crime intelligence body that has leadership and can function.
“If we say we have a crime intelligence-led approach, it means that crime intelligence must have a head and a person who can function.
“I have nothing against Mdluli, but there are issues that he faced that have brought litigation to a standstill and the state and the people of South Africa were not beneficiaries.”
Sithole said Mdluli was persuaded to leave his position because he was close to retirement.