Image via Adobe Stock
Image via Adobe Stock
The Secret Services Slush Fund case, whereby high profile ex-crime intelligence senior personnel are involved, has been transferred to the Pretoria High Court and will be heard on Tuesday 10 November 2020. On Thursday 17 September, Former Crime Intelligence Divisional Commissioner Richard Mdluli, Crime Intelligence ex-Chief Finance Officer Solomon Lazarus and Former Supply Chain Manager Heine Barnard appeared before the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
The trio appeared in connection with multiple counts of fraud, corruption, theft and defeating the administration of justice charges. They will appear in November, where for the first time in nine years, they will face the charges with regard to the Slush Fund.
The case was initially enrolled in 2011 and then struck off the roll because the defence stated that the accused would not have a fair trial. This was as a result of the lack of access to then classified Secret Services procurement documents.
Investigating Directorate (ID) head Advocate Hermione Cronje said that within seven days, the defence will receive the documents in order to prepare for the trial.
“Immediately when I took up office in May 2019, my team made up of assigned Hawks investigators brought up the request for declassification to the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Bathohi and National Police Commissioner Kehla Sithole to assist in that regard. The investigators were frustrated with the long delays. I’m pleased that within seven days from today the defence will receive those documents in order to prepare for trial,” said Cronje.
Cronje said the Slush Fund case is one of several other cases that the ID has enrolled in the past year emanating from the State Capture Commission.
“There is a serious appetite from law enforcement to finalise cases which had been stalled for nefarious reasons. We once again must state that we are systematically moving up the ladder,” added Cronje.
According to the African News Agency (ANA), the slush fund was allegedly used as a piggy bank whereby millions of rands in public funds were used by the former crime boss and other top officials to pay for holidays and cars and renovations.
Apart from the controversial Slush Fund case, Mdluli and his former colleague Mthembeni Mthunzi were convicted of assault and kidnapping. In March 2020, state prosecutor Zaais van Zyl said the pair should face the full might of the law.
The pair were found guilty of assault and kidnapping for crimes they committed in 1998. He and accomplice Mthunzi had tracked down Alice Manana and Oupa Ramogibe and beaten them senseless because Mdluli learnt that Ramogibe had engaged in an affair and secretly eloped with his wife, Tshidi Buthelezi.