In December 2017 Glebelands rogue cop, the detective from Durban Central SAPS, Sgt Bhekukwazi Mdweshu and 6 other alleged hitmen were arrested and charged with 19 counts of murder, attempted murder, possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition as well us under the Riotous Assemblies Act for conspiring to eliminate Glebelands residents. They have become known as the Glebelands 7. Two of the 7 are also charged with other Glebelands murder cases, of which one was recently sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a Glebelands grandmother in 2017. Bail applications for the remaining 5 are ongoing.
On 17 January, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and the new National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khehla Sithole announced crime intelligence boss, Richard Mdluli, had finally been relieved of his duties. Since his suspension seven years ago, he has reportedly earned around R8-million and persistently meddled in affairs of the state. He will retire with full benefits and apparent impunity for his role in pillaging a Crime Intelligence secret slush fund. Mdluli has been widely blamed for the downfall of, amongst others, the former Hawks head Anwar Dramat, former NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, and Gauteng corruption-buster, former Major General Shadrack Sibiya. But he has thousands of lesser-known victims – collateral damage along the road to ‘a better life’ for some.
The criminal justice system is quick to blame its abysmal conviction rate of Glebelands suspects on reluctant witnesses. While this is indeed a contributing factor – and for good reason – the whole story is not being told.