Richard Mdluli bust for fraud

23 September 2011 - 02:51 By CHANDRÉ PRINCE
Richard Mdluli. File photo.
Richard Mdluli. File photo.

Suspected police spy boss Richard Mdluli is alleged to have used taxpayers' money to help pay for his private BMW.

He also allegedly registered his relatives, girlfriends and their families as covert intelligence operatives and paid them as such.

Mdluli - who was suspended as head of crime intelligence after being arrested earlier this year on a charge of murder - is alleged to have defrauded the police and a Pretoria car dealership of more than R90000 and to have caused them to lose a further R1.28-million.

Mdluli handed himself over to the Hawks on Wednesday after getting word that he was to be arrested on charges of fraud and corruption.

The elite police unit was tight-lipped yesterday about its lengthy investigation of Mdluli, but The Times understands that evidence dating back years is to be produced in court to show how he allegedly misappropriated tens of thousands of rands from, among other sources, the police witness protection fund.

Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela would not say what charges Mdluli faces, but confirmed that they relate to fraud and corruption.

"Investigations are continuing but we are tying up the loose ends," said Polela.

According to court documents, Mdluli allegedly bought a 7-series BMW last year and solicited a R90526 discount from dealership Leo Haese BMW.

A Hawks official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said investigators uncovered that Mdluli had wanted to trade in his BMW 7 series car for a new car but had insufficient cash.

The police had previously negotiated discounts with the dealership for official cars and Mdluli allegedly abused this concession to commit the fraud, the Hawks official said.

According to the charge sheet, Mdluli arranged for the crime intelligence division to buy two new cars - a 3-series BMW costing R487313, and a 5-series priced at R706150 - even though they were not needed.

He allegedly did so only for the total of R90526 in discounts received by the police on the purchase of the two cars. He allegedly used the discounts in the purchase of his own new car.

In addition to the fraud charge, Mdluli faces eight charges of corruption.

The charge sheet does not elaborate on these charges, other than to allege that Mdluli, among other things:

  • Illegally, dishonestly and without authority carried out some police work;
  • Misused or sold information or material acquired during the course of his duties;
  • Abused his position of authority;
  • Breached the trust of the police; and
  • Tried to conspire with others to commit offences.

The Times understands that these charges relate to Mdluli allegedly using money from the police informants' fund to pay salaries to his lovers - as much as R18000 in one instance - and to a number of their relatives.

One of the BMWs the police paid for was allegedly given to one of Mdluli's girlfriends under the pretext that it was to be used in gathering crime intelligence.

Mdluli is to stand trial with co-accused Heine Johannes Barnard, who allegedly arranged the deals and the payment of the R90526 in discounts.

Mdluli was granted R2000 bail in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, Pretoria, on Wednesday. He will appear again on December 14.

He is due to appear in court on Friday next week on murder charges.

Mdluli was arrested in April - along with Colonel Nkosana "Killer" Ximba, court orderly Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo and Colonel Mthunzi-Omhle Mtunzi - for the murder 12 years ago of Oupa Ramogibe.

The state claims Mdluli was involved in a love triangle with his former lover, Tshidi Buthelezi, and her husband, Ramogibe.

It is alleged that Ramogibe was killed because of Mdluli's jealousy.

Mdluli's lawyer, Ike Motloung, could not be reached for comment yesterday.