Marriage soured things: Mdluli inquest

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Richard Mdluli. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli threatened the family of the mistress he lost to a rival in love, an inquest heard on Monday.

Things went sour when his rival, Oupa Ramogibe, married the woman, his sister Justina testified in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court at an inquest into his death.

Justina told the court she was good friends with her brother's wife Tsidi Buthelezi, who used to be Mdluli's mistress.

Prosecutor Kholeka Gcaleka read out a statement she had made earlier and asked her to agree to each paragraph.

She echoed what her mother Sophia Ramogibe had earlier told the court.

Justina said Mdluli had gone looking for Oupa at her mother's house.

Mdluli told family members they should find him, because if he found him himself he would kill him, the inquest heard.

Justina said it became “torture” for the family whenever they saw a police vehicle.

She told the court her brother was shot while in police custody, and that the police told them an unknown man robbed them and shot Oupa.

Justina said after she was raped and kidnapped, the family stopped trying to pursue the matter.

Both Sophia and Justina are in the witness protection service.

Justina wore a bulletproof vest to court and was accompanied by police officers.

She told the court Buthelezi fell ill after Oupa's death, but did not want to go to the hospital.

“She said she didn't want help. She wanted to die.”

During cross-examination by Ike Motloung, for Mdluli, Justina said the family did not open a case of intimidation, because Mdluli was a superintendent at the Vosloorus police station.

“I did not have trust in the police,” she said.

She told the court the Hawks had approached the family to open a case into Oupa's death and that her mother was scared of Mdluli.

Earlier, magistrate Jurg Viviers excused the second witness, Alice Monana, ruling that her testimony was not relevant to the inquest.

“After consultations, I have decided to let her (Monana) testify tomorrow (Tuesday),” Viviers said after a break.

Monana was excused after attorney Paul Leisher said her testimony had no relevance in determining the cause, date or motive of Ramogibe's death.

“(The court should hear evidence that) relates specifically to the death of the deceased and nothing else,” he said.

Viviers said it was important to establish the motive of the killing.

Mdluli had been accused of the murder with Samuel Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi. Tthe 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.

Ramogibe's mother Sophia was the first witness to take to the stand on Monday and said Mdluli had threatened to kill her son.

“Mr Mdluli told my daughters to look for Oupa, because if he had to look for him himself, he would kill him,” she said.

She would be cross-examined on Tuesday, after being excused for being ill.

Viviers set down the whole of September for the inquest. - Sapa


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