Johannesburg - An inquest into the 13-year-old death of suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli's love rival heard on Wednesday from the policeman who was with Oupa Ramogibe when he was shot.
“There was only one person behind me, who demanded my firearm,” Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo, then a sergeant, said during the proceedings in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court.
“All that time he (Ramogibe) was at my side when I was pointed with the firearm. That was the last time I saw him (alive).”
Dlomo was recalling the day he took Ramogibe back to the scene where he had previously been shot at.
The court is holding an inquest into Ramogibe's death in February 1999.
Dlomo testified that he started following up on the first shooting, even though Mdluli had closed the case of attempted murder because of insufficient evidence.
“I discovered there were witnesses outstanding and I also discovered that the scene where the complainant was shot at was never visited and no cartridges were found,” he said.
Dlomo said he drove to the scene, while Ramogibe navigated. When they arrived, Ramogibe got out and started pointing out where he had been shot at.
In Dlomo's first statement, which was read into record, he said: “I was busy making notes on the car's bonnet when two African males proceeded to come to us.
“Suddenly, one of them pointed a firearm at me and asked for my service pistol... He ordered me to lie down... Suddenly, I heard some gunshots and the car drove off.”
He said he went to a nearby house for help.
In his second statement, he said his firearm was grabbed from behind and that the attackers continued shooting while driving away.
The inquest heard that Dlomo ran to a nearby tuckshop to call the police, who arrived 45 minutes later.
“Ramogibe was shot and killed. Two people attacked us. I will not be able to identify them if I see them,” Dlomo told the court.
He sat with his arms folded, wearing a black and white striped shirt with a black vest, while the statements were read and agreed that both were correct.
Kholeka Gcaleka, for the State, asked Dlomo to explain exactly what had happened.
Dlomo said he was listening to Ramogibe and pressing on the car bonnet to make notes, when he saw two men walking down the street.
“Suddenly, I felt a firearm behind me. He (the assailant) then requested for my firearm and told me to lie down, and then he demanded the car's keys,” Dlomo said.
He said he did not look back when he felt the firearm, but said it must have been the two men who had walked past as they were the only adults around.
“There was only one person behind me who demanded my firearm... There was only one firearm behind me.”
Magistrate Jurg Viviers postponed the inquest until Thursday because of time constraints.
The inquest will determine whether to reinstate the criminal charges provisionally withdrawn in February against Mdluli, Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi.
The charges were intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Earlier, while Ike Motloung, for Mdluli, was cross-examining Dlomo, he told the inquest he was not Mdluli's friend at the time of the death and they were still not friends.
Dlomo also denied that Mdluli instructed him to fetch Ramogibe.
Motloung asked: “What would you have done if Mdluli instructed you to kill Ramogibe?”
Dlomo replied: “I wouldn't do that... My duties entail to save people, not to kill people or assist in killing people.”
At the time of the crime, Mdluli was branch commander of the Vosloorus police station. - Sapa