Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/NETWERK24/FELIX DLANGAMANDLA
Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/NETWERK24/FELIX DLANGAMANDLA

Revelations about the way crime intelligence looted its secret service account partly explain why the police are woefully out of their depth in dealing with crime.

The Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture spent a week listening to evidence from seasoned Hawks investigator Col Kobus Roelofse about blatant corruption in crime intelligence under the division’s disgraced boss Richard Mdluli.

His testimony came days after the release of crime statistics that once again painted a bleak picture of police ineptitude, and followed yet another outbreak of xenophobic attacks in Gauteng. The police response to the violence was found desperately wanting.

Analysts have highlighted the lack of intelligence capacity as among the reasons the police are, in large part, on the back foot against criminals.

Roelofse’s testimony showed funds that should have been spent on strengthening capacity to gather crime intelligence were diverted for lavish overseas trips, security upgrades for former police minister Nathi Mthethwa’s home, luxury cars and meddling in ANC elective conferences and in opposition politics.

If criminals within the police can act with the kind of impunity described by Roelofse, there is little preventing those outside it from doing the same.