Mdluli inquest postponed to September

2012-04-30 14:22

JOHANNESBURG April 30

An inquest into the death of the husband of Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli's former lover was postponed to September by the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Magistrate Jurg Viviers said the rights of all parties to the inquest should be taken into consideration.

"With or without legal representation this matter is going ahead September 3. I am setting aside a month. We are not going beyond September. It's costing a lot of money. Everyone has enough time to prepare," Viviers said.

The court heard that the State had declined Mdluli's request for financial assistance.

"I am disappointed to inform the court that we received a written reply to say that the application for State funding has been declined," his attorney Ike Motloung told the court.

"I already have instructions at looking at the possibility of taking the decision on review."

Viviers said it had become difficult to take everyone's rights into consideration because of the number of people involved in the inquest.

"The rights of the four suspects, in my opinion, is not the only right to be taken into consideration... Time is of the essence.

"I still believe General Mdluli and the other three are keen to see the results of the inquest... We will not deviate from September 3, make no mistake."

On May 28, the court would get an update on the decision on the review for financial assistance for Mdluli.

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his accomplices Samuel Dlomo, Col Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi were provisionally withdrawn in February, pending the outcome of the inquest.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 Oupa Ramogibe, in 1999. At the time of the crime, Mdluli was branch commander of the Vosloorus police station.

On April 10, the court heard that 39 witnesses were to testify during the inquiry. Viviers said witnesses might have distorted memories as too much time had elapsed. Seven witnesses had been placed in the costly witness protection programme.

Motloung asked if the court could clarify that Mdluli was not a suspect.

"This is not a criminal matter. General Mdluli and the others are not suspects, they are witnesses like the rest," he said.

Viviers said the inquest would be dealt with on a day-to-day basis in September.

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