Mdluli inquest timeline questioned

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Richard Mdluli. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - The lawyer of suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli questioned the memory of a witness on Wednesday in an inquest into the death of Mdluli's love rival Oupa Ramogibe.

“Do you agree that testifying 12 or 13 years after the event, with the lapse of time people's memories fail, they do not get stronger?” Ike Motloung asked Ramogibe's mother Sophia in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court.

She agreed. Motloung was questioning her on her various statements before the court.

Motloung asked her about the link she had made between her daughter Justina's rape and the death of Oupa, and why she had not mentioned this in her initial statement. “I don't remember,” she replied.

The inquest heard that a man called her house a few days after the rape and asked if Justina had “enjoyed the sex”.

Sophia said the person called only once.

However, Motloung said one of the statements she had made mentioned another call about her daughter, who was working at the department of home affairs.

Motloung submitted that Ramogibe did not make the link between the death and the rape when she made a statement in 2000.

Magistrate Jurg Viviers asked Sophia to clarify the timeline after she said the call happened after the mourning period.

“Think clearly about it,” he said.

Sophia explained: “It was not after a month. I had mourned for three months.... That is when the incident came forward.”

Viviers asked her about the mourning period and whether it could have lasted a full year. One of the statements indicated that the call happened in June 2000.

“Days later - still in 1999? Please explain, it doesn't make sense that you received the call on June 13, 2000. The next year,” Viviers said.

Sophia replied: “ It was the very same year, just after I removed the clothes.”

Viviers asked if it was possible that she mourned for a year.

“No, it never lasted that long,” she said.

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Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi, but the charge was provisionally withdrawn in February pending the outcome of the inquest.

Also withdrawn were charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.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


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