Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli

Johannesburg – The legal representative of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli claims that the charges against him were a conspiracy by high ranking officers who wanted to oust him from being a national police commissioner, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday .

During closing arguments, Advocate Ike Motloung, for Mdluli,said his client has been part of a conspiracy by high ranking officers to oust him from making progress in his career.

Mdluli has continuously maintained that there was an operation called Ulibambe lingashoni (Don’t let the sun set) which was a project engineered by those who conspired against him.

Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi face charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.

They are on trial for allegedly intimidating, kidnapping and assaulting Mdluli's love rival Oupa Ramogibe. They have pleaded not guilty. 

Motloung poked holes in Alice Manana's testimony, saying she's not a credible witness and the court should exercise caution regarding her testimony.

Manana was Tshidi Buthelezi's friend. Buthelezi was Mdluli's customary wife.

Manana was shot in her home in 1998. She made a statement in 2010, in it she accused Mdluli as being the man who was driving the getaway car when she was shot.

Mdluli and Mthunzi have been accused of assaulting Manana, allegations they both denied.

Motloung said Mana is not a reliable witnesses as her statement taken after she was shot in 1998 contradicts the one taken in 2010. 

 "Alice in most if not all charges, she's a single witness. The law is clear, if you have a single witness and the court has to make credibility findings, the court has to approach the matter with caution," Motloung said.

Motloung questioned why the State withheld an audio on the interview they conducted with Manana whereas they agreed to play a recording of the interview they had with Warrant officer Solomon Mashamaite.  

Mashamaite who took Manana's statement after she was shot,  said he was intimidated and coerced by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) during consultation to change his statement in order to implicate Mdluli in Manana's attack. 

When an audio was played in court at that time, it disputed some of the testimony which was given by Mashamaite.

Mdluli had a long-term relationship with Buthelezi. During her relationship with him, she met Ramogibe and they began a relationship and later got married.

Mdluli allegedly went through extreme lengths to get Ramogibe and Buthelezi to break up. The pair secretly married in July, 1998. Ramogibe was shot dead in 1999.

A charge of murder against Mdluli and Mthunzi was withdrawn and nobody has since been charged with the murder.

The charges against the pair stem from the alleged extreme lengths that Mdluli went to between 1997 and 1999 to find out where Buthelezi and Ramogibe were hiding.

Mdluli has also been accused of sabotaging the investigation.

Tshidi died in 2003 after an illness.

The matter was postponed to February 12.

- African News Agency (ANA)