Mother blames herself for son’s death

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mdluli june 15 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Former crime intelligence head Lt-Gen Richard Mdluli. File photo by Steve Lawrence

Johannesburg - The mother of the love rival of suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli blames herself for her son's death, an inquest court heard on Wednesday.

Magistrate Jurg Viviers was questioning Oupa Ramogibe's mother Sophia, about her son's death in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

“It may seem insensitive, but do you blame yourself for what happened to him?” he asked.

Sophia responded: “I blamed myself under the context that I'm the one who encouraged Oupa to go to the police.”

“I can understand that,” Viviers said.

Ike Motloung, for Mdluli, questioned Sophia on Oupa's relationships before his death in 1999.

The inquest heard that Oupa was seeing a girl named Lerato before he started seeing Mdluli's mistress, Tsidi Buthelezi.

“Lerato, Oupa's girlfriend, told me about his relationship with Tsidi,” Sophia told the inquest.

“Lerato wanted me to do something.”

Motloung continued his questioning and asked her why Lerato was never seen as a suspect in Oupa's murder by the Ramogibe family.

“That's your problem... Open a different window. Maybe it's not Mdluli who killed your son, maybe it's Lerato,” Motloung said.

Sophia responded: “I don't believe that Lerato was capable of killing Oupa.”

Motloung argued that if Mdluli had to testify he would say that his relationship with Buthelezi was over at the time of the death.

“When Oupa was killed the relationship between Tsidi and Mdluli was gone... It's not like he was fighting for Tsidi,” Motloung said.

Criminal charges against Mdluli and his accomplices Samuel Dlomo, Col Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi were provisionally withdrawn in February, pending the outcome of the inquest.

The initial charges against them were intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

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

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

The inquest continues. - Sapa


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