Richard Mdluli fails to appear in court in spy slush fund case due to 'ill health'

Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli is serving a five-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assaulting and intimidating Oupa Ramogibe in 1998.
Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli is serving a five-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assaulting and intimidating Oupa Ramogibe in 1998.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli failed to appear in court on Tuesday in connection with the alleged abuse of a secret service slush fund.

Investigating Directorate (ID) spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala said on Tuesday that Mdluli cited "ill health" for his absence. He was due to appear in the Pretoria specialised crimes court in connection with multiple counts of fraud, corruption, theft and defeating the administration of justice.

The case relates to the alleged abuse of the secret service's slush fund in which high-profile former intelligence senior personnel were involved.

The case was postponed to February 8 2021.

Mdluli's co-accused, Solomon Lazarus and former supply chain manager Heine Barnard, briefly appeared in the Pretoria court on Tuesday, where the matter was postponed and referred to the Pretoria high court.

Twala said the directorate was ready to go to trial.

"Barnard and Lazarus indicated today that they intend to apply to the state attorney’s office for the state to pay for their legal costs as they will not afford legal representatives for the full duration of the trial. The Investigating Directorate is ready to go to trial and finally settle the nine-year protracted court case which the ID inherited last year," Twala said.

They are accused of corruption, fraud, and theft.

Barnard faces an additional charge of defeating the ends of justice. "This is in connection with the allegation of abusing the secret service's slush fund. This includes allegations of payment from the fund for private trips to China and Singapore, private use of witness protection houses, conversion of this property for personal use and the leasing out of his private residence to the state to pay Mdluli’s bond, among others," she said.

Mdluli is serving a five-year prison term for kidnapping, assaulting and intimidating Oupa Ramogibe in 1998 in an unrelated case.

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