Mdluli: Witness ‘had axe to grind’ over promotion

2012-09-17 11:28

The lawyer representing suspended top cop Richard Mdluli has accused a senior police witness of “having an axe to grind” with Mdluli.

Ike Motloung, representing Mdluli in the murder inquest into the 1999 murder of Oupa Ramogibe, said Colonel Johannes Manyathela had a grudge against Mdluli because he hadn’t helped him out with a promotion.

Manyathela was the acting commander of the uniform branch of the Vosloorus Police Station at the time Ramogibe was murdered.

“I put it to you that you had an axe to grind with Mdluli, who did not assist you with your promotion,” said Motloung.

Manyathela denied this.

Last week, Manyathela testified that Oupa Ramogibe’s family had come to see him the day after the murder to explain that they suspected Mdluli of being behind the crime.

Ramogibe was at the time seeing a woman Mdluli claimed was his wife.

Manyathela told the court that he reported the matter to the local area commissioner.

He said that, at the time of the murder, he believed the Ramogibe family were telling the truth and that Mdluli was lying.

But under tedious cross-examination by Motloung, Manyathela conceded that he had not made a statement about the events for over ten years.

He only did so last year, when the Hawks reopened the investigation.

Manyathela said he believed he had discharged his duties by giving the area commissioner notes about his meeting with the Ramogibe family.

Motloung said Mdluli would testify that he only became aware of the murder complaint against him by the Ramogibes, “when he tried to get the docket to assign a detective to it”.

But Manyathela said that Mdluli had briefed him about Ramogibe’s murder less than two hours after it had happened.

Manyathela said that after the family came to see him, Mdluli asked Manyathela why their visit had not been reported to Mdluli.

He testified that he informed Mdluli that the allegation against him was serious and was being independently investigated.

“Mdluli’s face changed and I could see he was very unhappy about that,” Manyathela said.

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