Irrational, unlawful, troublingly “below the standard expected of a senior officer of this court” – the words of Judge John Murphy of the North Gauteng High Court describing the actions of some of the most senior prosecutors in the country.
Judge Murphy also found that the former SAPS National Commissioner had taken “unlawful” orders from “someone beyond him” to withdraw murder, kidnap, intimidation, corruption and fraud charges against the suspended commander of the SAPS Crime Intelligence unit, Lt. Gen. Richard Mdluli. And that the current commissioner, Riah Phiyega, had tried to deceive him.
In response to an application brought by the civil rights group, Freedom Under Law, the judge ordered the National Prosecuting Authority to reinstate and prosecute all the charges.
While this judgment has been widely reported, its implications on another critical front have passed largely unnoticed.