Bail finding expected in Mdluli case

2011-04-19 14:48

The Boksburg Magistrate’s Court is expected to make a finding tomorrow in the bail application of crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his co-accused in a case involving a decade-old crime.

Shocking claims emerged during the four-day hearing last week, including an alleged plot by former president Thabo Mbeki to take over crime intelligence, and an alleged conspiracy by junior intelligence members to derail Mdluli’s promotion.

Mdluli submitted the classified Ntlemeza report and a letter as evidence.

He testified that the report, which was sent to President Jacob Zuma in November, cleared him of the 1999 murder of Oupa Abel Ramogibe – and for which he is being held.

He submitted that it also explained why he believed there was a conspiracy against him by top police officials, including former acting police commissioner Tim Williams and now deceased former Mpumalanga police commissioner Afrika Khumalo.

Mdluli implied that the charges against him were fabricated as a result of the conspiracy.

In the letter, he claimed that Mbeki’s camp was trying to take over police intelligence ahead of the 2012 ANC conference.

“These were the very same members that were involved in negative campaigning at the ANC conference in Polokwane,” he wrote.

“They were in Mbeki’s camp and trying to take control of the intelligence environment within the police by devious tactics.”

He wrote that his cellphone had been tapped and that he was investigated three times and was twice exonerated.

Mdluli said one of his co-accused, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, was an active ANC member and played an important role in the Polokwane conference where Zuma was elected after a bruising battle with Mbeki for the leadership of the ANC.

“(He) also played an important role during the president’s trying times with his engagement with the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority].

“The question now arises what and how do they want to use the intelligence environment to affect the 2012 build-up to the ANC?” Mdluli asked.

The defence argued that the State had no forensic or ballistics evidence against Mdluli and his three co-accused, but that its argument was based on suspicion.

Mdluli’s attorney Ike Motloung said there had never been a legal basis to arrest them as there was “not a shred of evidence against them“.

He asked why the State opted to arrest the four only now, 12 years after the crime.

State prosecutor Kholeka Gcaleka submitted that the conspiracy had nothing to do with the murder, and that Mdluli was conveniently relying on the report and letter to clear himself of any wrongdoing.

She said the charges against Mdluli existed in 1999, but because he was in charge of the unit investigating the matter, he exercised his “considerable” influence to make it disappear.

She said the investigating team and witnesses had been threatened, and that Mdluli could not be trusted.

Gcaleka contended that dockets relating to the case were stolen and that Mdluli was using his high-ranking friends and political allies to stop the investigation against him.

Mdluli, Ximba, 38, Lieutenant-Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi, 52, and court orderly Samuel Dlomo, 49, are accused of shooting dead Ramogibe.

They are charged with intimidation, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Mdluli faces an additional charge of defeating and obstructing the course of justice.

Ramogibe allegedly received death threats after marrying Mdluli’s ex-lover and was told to leave her or he would be killed.

He had opened an attempted murder case before his death.

At the time, Mdluli was the station commissioner at the Vosloorus police station in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

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