PRETORIA, 30 January – South Africa’s suspended special director of public prosecutions, Lawrence Mrwebi, withdrew charges against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli without supplying valid reasons, the Mokgoro inquiry heard on Wednesday.
The evidence came from advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, who is the director of public prosecutions in the North Gauteng division. He was testifying in the inquiry, headed by retired Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro, which is probing deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba and Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.
Mzinyathi explained that he had a meeting with Mrwebi to discuss Mdluli’s fraud case but they did not reach any agreement in respect of Mdluli’s prosecution relating two BWMs he secured with a loan from Atlantis Nissan, the company which supplied vehicles to the SA Police crime intelligence division.
“We parted on the understanding that he is still going to do some research. The expectation was that he was going to come back to me for further discussions.”
Mzinyathi said he was surprised to later receive memorandums from Mrwebi stating that he has decided to withdraw the charges against Mdluli.
“I was surprised because the memorandums were dated 4 December, which was the day prior to my discussion with Advocate Mrwebi on 5 December. But, apart from the date I was also surprised by the instruction that is given.”
Mzinyathi said he and former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach had met Mrwebi and informed him they disagreed with his position on Mdluli.
He said Mrwebi told them that he had already made his decision and it would be a problem to give prosecutors conflicting decisions.
“I had always held the view that there is a prima facie case against Mdluli – and you don’t withdraw for no apparent reason.”
Mzinyathi said he was pushed into a corner because Mrwebi had already informed Mdluli’s attorneys that the case would be withdrawn.
The hearings continues.