Mdluli case postponed after ‘heated words’

The pair had been charged with stock theft.
Photo: Supplied

The pair had been charged with stock theft. Photo: Supplied

A heated exchange of words between a High Court Judge and a senior advocate in the Richard Mdluli case has resulted in the Judge adjourning the hearing.

Judge John Murphy raised his voice when Adv William Mokhari SC, who represents National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, told him it was “presumptuous” to ask if Phiyega intended reinstating Mdluli as head of Crime Intelligence.

He repeatedly told Mokhari to sit down and when he refused adjourned the hearing.

Judge Murphy last month granted an order to public interest group Freedom Under Law that criminal and disciplinary charges must be reinstated against Mdluli.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions and Police Commissioner today applied for leave to appeal against his ruling.

FUL did not oppose the ruling, but argued that the court should revive a previous interdict or make it a condition of the appeal that Mdluli may not return to work pending the outcome of the appeal.

The Commissioner objected to the procedure followed by FUL, saying they should have brought a proper application and given them a chance to reply.

When Judge Murphy wanted to know why the Commissioner was opposed to such and order and asked if she intended to reinstate Mdluli, Mokhari SC said it was a presumptuous question and it would be improper for him to answer.

“How dare you say that to me? You’re obliged to respond to my answer.

“…Take a seat. You’re finished. I do not wish to hear you,” Judge Murphy told Mokhari.

The Judge earlier said he was “not unsympathetic” to the state’s application for leave to appeal against his riling.

The Judge last month set aside a December 2011 decision by the Head of the Specialised Commerc ial Crime Unit Adv Lawrence Mwrebi to withdraw charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering against Mdluli. The charges stem from allegations that Mdluli had abused the Secret Service account for private gain for his and his wife’s benefits.

He also set aside a February 2012 decision by South Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions, Andrew Chauke, to withdraw charges of murder, kidnapping, intimidation, assault and defeating the ends of justice against Mdluli. The murder and related charges follow the death of the husband if Mdluli’s lover, Oupa Ramogibe, who was shot dead during a pointing-out to Vosloorus police in 1999. Mdluli was the Branch Commander of the detective branch at Vosloorus at the time.

Judge Murphy further set aside a February 2012 decision by the acting police commissioner to withdraw disciplinary proceedings against Mdluli as well as a March 2013 decision to reinstate him as Head of Crime Intelligence

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