Cop denies cover-up, Mdluli inquest hears

2012-09-13 19:17
Richard Mdluli (File, Sapa)

Richard Mdluli (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A policeman denied covering up the death, 13 years ago, of Oupa Ramogibe, who married suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli's mistress, an inquest heard on Thursday.

"I put it to you that you tried to cover-up the death by giving several statements with several different versions," said State advocate Kholeka Gcaleka.

He was cross-examining Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court.

Dlomo replied: "There was no cover up."

Gcaleka contended that Dlomo deliberately led Ramogibe into a death trap by taking him to a scene where he was previously shot at.

"You created the scene for Ramogibe to be killed...," said Gcaleka.

She said the killers managed to flee the scene because he did not react.

Did not use cellphone

The inquest heard that after the shots were fired, Dlomo went to a house to call the police, despite having a cellphone on him.

"Under the circumstances I found myself under, I did what I was supposed to do," Dlomo said.

"If I didn't find a public phone, I would search for a place to hide and then take out the cellphone and call for help."

Gcaleka said in all the statements Dlomo made about that day, not once did he mention why he took Ramogibe back to the scene.

Dlomo agreed.

The inquest will determine whether to reinstate criminal charges provisionally withdrawn in February against Mdluli, Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi.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.

On Wednesday, the inquest was told that Dlomo and Ramogibe were accosted by two men who demanded Dlomo's firearm, held them at gunpoint and ordered them to lie on the ground.

'What was I supposed to do?'

While on the ground, Dlomo heard gunshots and then the police car speeding off. He went to a nearby house to call for back-up. When he returned, Ramogibe was dead.

On Thursday, Dlomo said neither he nor Ramogibe was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Gcaleka asked Dlomo what his first priority was after the shooting and whether he had been concerned about Ramogibe.

"I thought about the witness, but I was disarmed. What was I supposed to do? I was also thinking of my life," he said.

Magistrate Jurg Viviers asked Dlomo if, after the shooting, he approached Mdluli to inform him of what happened.

Dlomo said he had not, and that he did not know where Mdluli was when he returned to the station.

The motive for Ramogibe's death was also questioned.

Previously been shot at

The Ramogibe family testified last week that they were told he was robbed and killed when he went with the police to point out a scene where he had previously been shot at.

Gcaleka said Ramogibe was found with his necklace, and that the police car, used to flee the scene, was later abandoned.

"It makes no sense to leave you and shoot Oupa," she said. "Did he provoke them?"

Dlomo answered: "I heard nothing from their side directed to Oupa. The only person I heard was the one who directed me to lie down."

Dlomo said he was traumatised by the shooting. Speaking about it affected him psychologically, as old feelings were resurfacing, he said.

From the post mortem report, the inquest heard that Ramogibe died from wounds to his heart, brain and lungs.

The inquest was postponed to Friday, when Ramogibe's brother is expected to testify.
Read more on:    richard mdluli  |  oupa ramogibe  |  johannesburg

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