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Lawyer says family fingered Mdluli

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Richard Mdluli. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - The family of Richard Mdluli's love rival Oupa Ramogibe decided the suspended crime intelligence boss had conspired to kill him with other policemen, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

“You and your family put all the information in a melting pot and decided it was Superintendent Mdluli (who killed your brother),” said attorney Paul Leisher.

The Boksburg Magistrate's Court is holding an inquest into Ramogibe's death 13 years ago.

Mdluli was accused of the murder with Samuel Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi, but the charge was provisionally withdrawn in February pending the outcome of the inquest.

Also withdrawn were charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

The charges relate to the killing of Ramogibe, who was Mdluli's ex-lover's husband, in 1999. At the time of the crime, Mdluli was branch commander of the Vosloorus police station.

Cross-examining Ramogibe's sister Justina, Leisher said: “A version based on suspicion has been made to implicate all four police officers.”

Justina replied: “He (Mdluli) was the one making the threats (to kill Oupa). Immediately after the death of Oupa, he stopped coming to make threats.”

Leisher put it to Justina that the Ramogibe family worked with the police and conspired against Mdluli and the other policemen.

“You and your family discussed this day after day, night after night and decided it had to be him,” he said.

Justina said she was sure Mdluli was involved because he threatened Oupa. “I don't believe I am wrong,” she said.

Leisher countered it was all based on suspicion and the family had no idea who killed Oupa.

“Even today, 13 years later, the same suspicion exists,” he said. “In this country, we condemn people based on suspicious.”

Justina agreed, prompting Leisher to ask: “You have absolutely no idea who killed your brother, do you?”

She replied: “No, I personally do not have certainty of who killed my brother. No one knows, but the person who did it knows.”

Leisher was questioning Justina about her earlier statement that her brother was killed in a robbery.

He asked her if the motive for the killing could have been a robbery, but she said it could not.

“I was told it was, but I don't believe it,” she said.

The inquiry also heard that, according to Justina, Oupa did not receive death threats from anyone other than Mdluli.

Thirty-nine witnesses are expected to testify during the inquiry. Seven of the witnesses have been placed in the witness protection programme.

The inquest was postponed to Thursday. - Sapa


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