Pretoria - A former deputy national police commissioner has turned to the North Gauteng High Court to clear his name after certain statements were wrongly attributed to him in an inquest judgment two years ago in the case involving suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
According to Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, magistrate Jurg Vivier, among others, in his judgment seemed to have mistakenly attributed some statements made by then head of the Hawks, Major-General Shadrack Sibiya to him (Lebeya). This was during the findings of Vivier following the inquest into the death of Mdluli’s love rival, Oupa Ramogibe, who was allegedly murdered in 1999.
Vivier delivered his judgment in November 2012, in which he found that there was no evidence implicating Mdluli and others in the death.
Lebeya and Sibiya were among the various witnesses who gave evidence during the formal inquest.
Lebeya is now asking the high court to review and correct certain portions of Vivier’s judgment, which were in his (Lebeya’s) opinion, wrong. Lebeya stated that some of the findings and statements made in the judgment were factually incorrect and “in certain regards the respondent (magistrate) appears to confuse me with another member”.
He added that although nothing in the eventual finding by the magistrate changed as a result of these facts, the statements have had “far-reaching consequences for me personally”. He, however, accepted that it was a bona fide mistake on the part of the magistrate.
Lebeya, who is also an advocate, said he was in 2011 asked to submit an affidavit relating to the death of Ramogibe, which he did. This also resulted in him giving evidence during the inquest.
“I have no issue with the (inquest) court’s findings, but I have issues with the reasons advanced.”
He said he asked the director of public prosecutions of south Gauteng to re-open the inquest and so correct the “flaws”, but he was told this was not possible.
One of the problems he has with the judgment is that it (wrongly) suggests that he is part of the so-called “forces behind the alleged plot to sink Mdluli”.
“This had the effect of drawing me into the fray in circumstances where I was not involved. As a result of this statement my integrity has clearly been impaired.” Lebeya pointed out that the Mdluli matter has dominated the media and said the remarks wrongly attributed to him attacked his credibility as a senior officer in the SAPS. (It) has the potential of putting permanent question marks behind his name.