Mdluli ruling affects Zuma – Analyst

A court ruling overturning the withdrawal of charges against former police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli has implications for President Jacob Zuma, an expert said on Thursday.

The judgment, which also ordered national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to restore disciplinary proceedings against Mdluli, was made on Monday by Judge John Murphy in the High Court in Pretoria.

Mdluli was suspended amid charges of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to the murder of his former lover’s husband.

An inquest cleared him of any involvement in the murder. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) later withdrew charges of fraud and corruption. He was reinstated, but was suspended again in 2012 pending Freedom Under Law’s court application.

Political analyst Richard Calland told the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday: “Justice John Murphy’s judgment in the Mdluli case is extremely important for its extrication of the law.

“If Justice Murphy’s approach is affirmed, then the outcome of the review case from the Democratic Alliance of Zuma is likely to go the same way, which means the charges will be reinstated.”

Calland was referring to the DA’s application to access “spy tapes”, transcripts, and other documents that relate to a 2009 NPA decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

Last month, the High Court in Pretoria ordered acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba to lodge a copy of the tapes with the registrar of the court within five days.

Zuma lodged an application for leave to appeal the following day, and this was subsequently granted by the High Court in Johannesburg.

Calland said that should charges eventually be reinstated against Zuma, the African National Congress might deem it inappropriate to have him in a leadership position and might manufacture a “relatively graceful departure”.

He said Zuma might resist such a move and this could make him vulnerable.



today in print