Cases against senior law enforcement officers postponed to next year in the Specialised Commercial Crimes court. The trial of former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mduli and his two co-accused has been set to resume in the High Court in Pretoria in February next year.
Mdluli, former Crime Intelligence chief, financial officer Solomon Lazarus and erstwhile supply chain manager Heine Barnard appeared briefly in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes court.
The case is on the alleged abuse of secret services slush funds. It relates to how the fund was allegedly used to purchase vehicles for Mdluli and the others, as well as funding his travel expenses to China and Singapore.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigative Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala says they are working on ensuring that this case is heard and possibly finalised.
“The matter will be back in court on the 8th of February next year. And we are excited about that because this effectively means that this case that has been in and out of court for so many years can finally be heard, properly ventilated and possibly finalised. We must add that the mandate in which the Investigative Directorate is operating is completely different from the previous one. We are operating on the mandate that we need to make sure that many of the cases that we put on the court roll are ventilated, are expedited so that justice can be seen to be done.”
Meanwhile, Twala says the Investigative Directorate intends ensuring completion of this matter.
“When Adv. Hermione Cronje took up office, she makes sure that the main issue, in this case, that has started for so many years, which was declassifying of documents has finally been sorted with the aid of Shamila Batohi as well as the Hawks head. So because of those two’s assistance we can now say that those documents have been declassified which has allowed for full disclosure for the applicants to know what is it that they stand accused of and to be able to be furnished with the proper documents and enable them to be able to stand trial and be able to respond to those allegations against them.”
Hawks officers arrested
In an unrelated matter, two senior Hawks officers and a former officer were arrested on Tuesday morning for alleged involvement in fraud and corruption in relation to promotional appointments in the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI). They will appear again in court in February next year.
The trio appeared briefly in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on allegations of abusing their powers while they were part of a selection panel.
DPCI spokesperson Katlego Mogale explains: “Allegedly these officers were receiving gratification to get members of the Hawks to be promoted. They have appeared in the Pretoria Specialised court and two of them got bail for R5000 each and the other one got two thousand rand bail. They will be appearing again on the 25th of February 2021.”
Mogale could not immediately confirm or deny whether the former Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi will be charged or not.
Mulaudzi resigned, on Monday, with immediate effect. Allegations are that he resigned because of alleged fraud and corruption relating to his foundation.
“At this stage, I am not speaking on the issue. If there is an investigation that has to be conducted it will be done so in due course.”