Officers ‘fled from Ramogibe murder scene’

2012-09-12 13:13

An eyewitness who arrived on the scene of Oupa Ramogibe’s murder shortly after he was shot testified that she saw “three uniformed police officers fleeing”.

Mary Lokaje, against whose Vosloorus garden wall Ramogibe’s body was found in 1999, testified in the inquest that the police officers “were already far away” when she emerged from her home.

This is the first evidence the inquest has heard that there were multiple police officers present at the scene where Ramogibe was shot.

At the time of his death, Ramogibe was dating Richard Mdluli’s girlfriend.

According to family members, this was something Mdluli – then the commander of the Vosloorus Police Station – was allegedly very unhappy about.

Ramogibe’s mother and sisters, in the past week and a half of hearings, have testified that Mdluli made death threats to Ramogibe, something Mdluli’s attorney Ike Motloung has denied.

They testified that police told them that Ramogibe had been shot while pointing out the scene of a previous attempt on his life to warrant officer Samuel Dhlomo.

Ramogibe’s family were told that Dhlomo had been “robbed” of his service pistol by four unknown men who then shot Ramogibe.

Lokaje said she was in the bedroom of their home when her husband said: “Here they are shooting somebody.”

She said that she heard gunfire and took cover, before venturing out with her husband “some time” after the shots stopped.

Under cross-examination by Motloung’s attorney, Lokaje said that she saw three uniformed police officers and one other police officer who was not in uniform.

Lokaje said all the officers later returned to the scene.

She could not explain why Ntswaki Ditsego, another witness, yesterday told the inquest that she had seen four men in plain clothes fleeing the scene.

Ditsego said Dhlomo was the only police officer on the scene.

Motloung also put it to Lokaje that her recollection of three police officers fleeing the scene that day was because she had been dazed by events and saw them returning.

Motloung also enquired why Lokaje had not made a statement at the time of the murder, even though she had been a police officer for four years in the 80s.

Mdluli, Dhlomo, as well as Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mtunzi and Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba, were accused of the 1999 murder of Ramogibe until charges were dropped in February.

The evidence of witnesses in the inquest has thus far been marred by apparent contradictions and the passage of time.

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