Can’t get your head around the convoluted saga of suspended police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli?
Let’s start from the very beginning …


26 June 2012 – New national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega appoints Major General Chris Ngcobo as acting head of Crime Intelligence and Protection and Security Services.

17 June 2012 – The City Press reports that Mdluli will have to explain why R150 000 of police funds was used to upgrade security at his house when he appears before a disciplinary hearing in July.

12 June 2012 – Zuma officially fires Bheki Cele and appoints Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega as the new national police commissioner.

6 June 2012 – The North Gauteng High Court interdicts Mdluli from executing his duties as a policeman, following an application brought by civil society group Freedom Under Law, supported by Corruption Watch and the Social Justice Coalition.

3 June 2012 – An urgent Sunday application by the SAPS sees the Labour Court sets aside the lifting of Mdluli’s suspension.

1 June 2012 – In a late Friday afternoon application at the Labour Court, Mdluli has his suspension lifted. No SAPS lawyers are present when the application is made.

27 May 2012 – Acting national police commissioner Mkhwanazi announces that he has suspended Mdluli, after a letter of suspension is sent to the cop’s lawyer.

20 May 2012 – The report on a probe into Cele’s fitness to remain in office is handed to Zuma, and recommends that the suspended police chief be fired.

19 May 2012 – Sexwale reveals he has asked public protector Madonsela to investigate the possible abuse of authority and state resources by Mdluli.

13 May 2012 – The City Press reports that four sources remember Mdluli as a Special Branch operative on the East Rand in the 1980s. “I don’t remember him torturing people, but he was definitely part of the interrogations,” says one former ANC activist.

10 May 2012 – In an interview with the Mail & Guardian, Mdluli says murder and fraud allegations are all part of a racist-driven plot against him by white police officers.

9 May 2012 – Police minister Mthethwa announces that Mdluli will be removed from crime intelligence and redeployed elsewhere.

30 April 2012 – Acting NPA head Jiba formally suspends Breytenbach, head of the Mdluli fraud and corruption case.

24 April 2012 – Madonsela says her office will not be probing allegations of maladministration against Mdluli.

22 April 2012 – Lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane’s home robbed and only documents stolen, among them an affidavit by Sexwale asking public protector Madonsela to probe Mdluli’s alleged abuse of state resources.

15 April 2012 – The City Press reports that Mdluli provided the Hawks with a list of his family members appointed secret agents in crime intelligence. Some were appointed to the unit’s cybercrime division, without having any IT expertise. They also had no police intelligence experience, and included Mdluli’s current wife and his former wife, both appointed at colonel level.

13 April 2012 – Francois Beukman, executive director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, says the police watchdog will not investigate corruption allegations against  Mdluli, saying that as the matter involve abuse of the secret services account it rightly belongs with inspector-general of intelligence Radebe.

11 April 2012 – Breytenbach, the NPA prosecutor in charge of the Mdluli fraud and corruption case, shot at on the N14 highway while driving home. Two shots are fired, but both miss.

8 April 2012 – The City Press reports that the Hawks have investigated claims that almost R200 000 for renovations to police minister Mthethwa’s house in KwaZulu-Natal was paid out of the crime intelligence slush fund, and that Mthethwa drove a luxury Mercedes-Benz SUV, bought by crime intelligence, during a period of 15 months. The information comes from a top-secret police report handed to acting national police commissioner Mkhwanazi in March.

3 April 2012 – The Times reports that officers in the police crime intelligence unit have said on condition of anonymity that they fear Mdluli will target those who investigated him for fraud and murder charges when he returns to his job.

27 March 2012 – Mdluli’s suspension as crime intelligence boss is lifted.

19 March 2012 – Inspector-general of intelligence Radebe advises acting police chief Mkhwanazi to reinstate fraud and corruption charges against ­Mdluli. This comes after the police wrote to Radebe and provided her with the Hawks’ corruption docket on ­Mdluli.

12 February 2012 – The City Press reports that legal documents in its possession reveal that Mdluli believes Cele is actively participating in a plot to “unseat” him. The campaign, according to Mdluli, even has a name: Project “Libambe Lingashoni”, translated by Mdluli’s lawyer as “let us wage a relentless campaign to see to it that he does not survive”.

2 February 2012 – The NPA announces that the murder and related charges against Mdluli and his co-accused will be withdrawn and a formal inquest set up. It denies a link between the possible suspension of Breytenbach and the dropping of charges.

1 February 2012 – Glynnis Breytenbach, the prosecutor heading the NPA’s aborted fraud investigation into Mdluli, is given “notice of suspension”. The NPA says she will be given an “opportunity to motivate why she should not be suspended”.

25 January 2012 – The New Age reports that “extremely valuable and sensitive documents and surveillance material regarding the activities of international crime syndicates and local drug lords” were destroyed soon after Mdluli’s arrest in March 2011.


14 December 2011 – Fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli provisionally withdrawn in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court, with no reason given. It later emerges that advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, national head of the specialised commercial crimes unit, instructed prosecutors Sibongile Mzinyathi and Glynnis Breytenbach to withdraw the charges, arguing that the ­police and NPA had no authority to investigate intelligence matters and that the case should be handled by inspector-general of intelligence Faith Radebe.

3 November 2011 – Mdluli sends Zuma a letter claiming a conspiracy to oust him led by police commissioner Cele, Hawks boss Anwa Dramat, Gauteng police chief Petros and police head of detectives Godfrey Lebeya. He also says that “in the event that I come back to work I will assist the President to succeed next year”, a reference to the ANC’s December 2012 elective congress in Mangaung.

24 October 2011 – Zuma suspends national police commissioner Bheki Cele for allegations of misconduct relating to two leases for police headquarters. Major-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi is appointed acting national police commissioner.

21 October 2011 – A member of crime intelligence placed in the witness protection programme after he makes allegations of criminality within the unit in an interview and affidavit. “The allegations made by this member have far reaching consequences if proved to be true,” Hawks investigating officer Kobus Roelofse later writes in a report.

19 October 2011 – The Times reports that the Hawks have been ordered to probe the involvement of Mdluli and his co-accused Nkosana Ximba in the kidnapping and murder of Lunga Khumalo (21) and Thulani Shoba (24) in Vosloorus in 1998. The Hawks respond by saying they have no “concrete evidence” linking the men to the crime.

21 September 2011 – Mdluli hands himself over to authorities and appears in the Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on fraud and corruption charges. It is alleged that he used a crime intelligence fund to pay salaries and buy houses and cars for girlfriends and their relatives as well as his own relatives, who had been registered as covert intelligence operatives. He is released on a warning.

20 August 2011 – Cele sends Mdluli a confidential letter giving him seven days to explain why he should keep his job, in light of the criminal charges he faces.

14 July 2011 – Public protector Madonsela implicates Bheki Cele in maladministration for police attempts to lease a building for R1.16-billion from businessman Roux Shabangu.

8 May 2011 – Mdluli suspended as crime intelligence chief.

20 April 2011 – Mdluli granted R20 000 bail by the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court.

11 April 2011 – The state opposes bail for Mdluli on the basis that he allegedly intimidated a witness, and stolen dockets were found in his locker, after the Ramogibe’s murder in 1999.

8 April 2011 – A highly placed security source tells the M&G: “Mdluli is likely to bring out things on other people. This could make the fight between the police and the Scorpions look like a crèche picnic by comparison.”

3 April 2011 – Former national police commissioner Tim Williams comes out with criticism of Mdluli’s 2009 appointment, calling it politically motivated, “completely unusual” and “not regular”.

1 April 2011 – A fourth suspect, Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi of crime intelligence, is arrested in connection with Ramogibe murder, joining Mdluli, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba and Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo. The charges relate to murder, attempted murder, intimidation, kidnapping, assault, grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating and/or obstructing the course of justice.

31 March 2011 – Mdluli hands himself over to police and briefly appears in court after a warrant for his arrest in connection with the 1999 murder of Oupa Ramogibe is issued.

25 March 2011 – The Mail & Guardian reports that the Hawks are conducting a probe, centring on Mdluli and Gauteng crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa, over allegations that they interfered with the Hawks’ investigation into Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

3 March 2011 – Mdluli’s crime intelligence unit conducts an illegal and unsanctioned raid on the office of public protector Thuli Madonsela.


11 November 2010 – Mdluli sends secret letter to Jacob Zuma claiming “victimisation and abuse of state resources”, claiming senior figures in crime intelligence have been trying to frame him for murder of Ramogibe since 2007 and that the Hawks are now taking up the investigation.

October 2010 – Mdluli sends Zuma a “ground coverage intelligence report” that details an alleged plot to unseat him by, among others, housing minister Tokyo Sexwale, Fikile Mbalula, Paul Mashatile, Zweli Mkhize and Bheki Cele.

September 2010 – Zuma expunges the criminal record of Booker Nhantsi, the husband of prosecutor Jiba, who in 2011 will become acting head of the NPA.

2 July 2010 – Selebi found guilty of corruption. A month later he is sentenced to 15 years in prison.

13 June 2010 – The Sunday Independent reports: “Police chief to probe crime intelligence boss”.


17 December 2009 – A report submitted to police minister Nathi Mthethwa and Gauteng provincial police commissioner Perumal Naidoo alleges that Mdluli, while he was Gauteng deputy commissioner, failed to probe complaints of police drug dealing and the illegal towing and chopping of cars.

1 August 2009 – Bheki Cele replaces Selebi as national police commissioner.

10 July 2009 – The Sowetan publishes a story linking Mdluli to the 1999 murder of Ramogibe. It is later alleged that the story was deliberately leaked to the paper after Mdluli’s appointment.

6 July 2009 – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, launched to replace the Scorpions.

1 July 2009 – Mdluli appointed divisional commissioner of the police’s crime intelligence division.

28 January 2009 – Mdluli signs an affidavit in support of a Labour Court challenge by suspended prosecutor Jiba, in which he reveals that cops bugged Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy during an SAPS investigation of Gerrie Nel.


23 October 2008 – Parliament officially abolished the Scorpions.

22 January 2008 – A special police team arrests Scorpions investigator Ivor Powell.

18 January 2008 – Charges against Gerrie Nel withdrawn.

12 January 2008 – Selebi steps down as national police commissioner.

11 January 2008 – Selebi loses a court case to prevent him being charged with corruption.

Early January 2008 – Acting NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe writes to justice director general Menzi Simelane that it “seems as if Adv Jiba and other members” of the Scorpions, the SAPS, the Department of Justice and the presidency “in a clandestine manner did all in their power to obtain a warrant of arrest for Adv Gerrie Nel”.

8 January 2008 – Nel arrested by about 20 armed policemen in front of his wife and children at his home on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice. He is released the following day.


27 November 2007 – Scorpions prosecutor advocate Nomgcobo Jiba suspended after evidence emerges that she helped police attempts to get an arrest warrant for Nel.

2 November 2007 – The Star reports Nel is the subject of a police probe, headed by Mdluli, for fraud and corruption.

10 September 2007 – Gauteng Scorpions head advocate Gerrie Nel has an arrest warrant for corruption issued against national police commissioner Selebi. It is quickly cancelled.

2000 to 2006

4 November 2005 – Mdluli appointed deputy provincial commissioner for Gauteng.

1 August 2003 – Mdluli promoted to the rank of deputy provincial commissioner in North West.

1 August 2000 – Mdluli transferred to the Southern Cape and promoted to director.

1 January 2000 – Jackie Selebi appointed national police commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS).


September 1999 – The Scorpions – formally known as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Directorate of Special Operations – established.

11 February 1999 – Warrant officer Samuel Dlomo, also a later Mdluli co-accused, allegedly closes the Romogibe case and destroys evidence without it being sent for ballistic testing. This comes out in court 12 years later.

February 1999 – Ramogibe is murdered in Vosloorus.

December 1998 – Tefo Abel “Oupa” Ramogibe opens an attempted murder case in Vosloorus. He has also received death threats after marrying Mdluli’s ex-lover, having been told to leave her or he would be killed.

mid-1998 – Lunga Khumalo (21) and Thulani Shoba (24) kidnapped and murdered in Vosloorus. They are last seen by relatives being picked up in a police car by Colonel Nkosana Ximba, who years later is a co-accused with Mdluli in the Ramogibe murder.

1997 to 1999 – Mdluli heads the Vosloorus detective branch, in Boksburg on the East Rand.

1950s to 1980s

1980s – Mdluli allegedly a member of an East Rand unit of the notorious Special Branch, a police division responsible for arresting, interrogating, torturing and murdering anti-apartheid activists.

31 January 1981 – Mdluli joins the Vosloorus SAPF detective branch on the Johannesburg East Rand.

27 August 1979 – At 21, Mdluli joins the apartheid government’s South African Police Force (SAPF). After completing basic training he is stationed at Evander police station in what was then the Transvaal.

16 June 1976 – Soweto uprising. Thousands young South Africans go into exile to join the liberation struggle.

May 1958 – Richard Naggie Mdluli born.



Can’t get your head around the convoluted saga of suspended police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli? Let’s start from the very beginning …
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