Not a coincidence that Mdluli was arrested after promotion, defence argues

2017-08-31 22:19
Richard Mdluli (City Press)

Richard Mdluli (City Press)

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Johannesburg – It was not a coincidence that former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli was arrested several days after his appointment, his lawyer said on Thursday. 

"This thing [the case] is a conspiracy, it is not a coincidence that the police did this [arrested him] 10 days after his appointment," Advocate Ike Motloung for Mdluli said during his final arguments in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

During his argument, Motloung questioned if the prosecution team had always been aware of project Ulibambe Lingashoni which was apparently intended to incriminate Mdluli. 

He also asked if the officers who were investigating Mdluli were part of the operation. 

Motloung said when he asked the prosecution if they were part of the stakeholders in the project, they failed to answer him.  

"My Lord, there is more than meets the eye here," he said.    

Mdluli and policeman Mthembeni Mthunzi are facing charges relating to the 1999 kidnapping of Oupa Ramogibe‚ who was married to Mdluli’s former lover Tshidi Buthelezi.

The two accused – who pleaded not guilty - allegedly intimidated, kidnapped and assaulted Ramogibe.

'Agenda against him'

News24 previously reported 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 previously testified during cross-examination there were senior people who were part of a project, set up to "advance their agenda against him".

He also said witnesses were found and put in witness protection "in order to coach them to falsely prosecute me".

Mdluli claims that the operation was intended to "falsely incriminate him and pull him down".

"This was a dirty tricks campaign or project. The manner of investigating this case was always wrong…when they think the man is going up the ladder the newspapers come out of the cupboards," Motloung said during his arguments.  

Motloung also said when Mdluli was arrested in March 2011, there was no single statement in the docket that implicated him to the charge of defeating the ends of justice. He said the statement was only available in April after he had been arrested.  

He also blamed the police for inviting journalists when taking statements from witnesses in the case.

Manana

Motloung also told the court that it should question a statement made by Buthelezi’s friend, Alice Manana.

Alice made a statement in 1998 which contradicted sections of the statement she made in 2010, Motloung said.

He said as a single witness; Manana’s credibility came into question.

Motloung said the prosecution team should have made corrections in which Manana said portions of her statement were incorrect.

Warrant Officer Solomon "Chippa" Mashamaite had previously testified that on October 17, 1998, he received a call about an attempted murder in Windmill Park.

When he arrived on the scene, Mashamaite said he found Manana, bleeding from her upper left breast and holding a cloth to her wound. She claimed she was shot. 

She could not describe her attackers, but had an idea of who may have been behind the attack. She did not say who.

The State is expected to argue its case on February 12, 2018.  

Read more on:    richard mdluli  |  courts

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