Family upset about Mdluli bail

2011-04-20 11:21

The Ramogibe family today said it was shocked and angry that crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his three co-accused were granted bail on a charge of killing his ex-lover’s husband a decade ago.

“Mdluli can go home and visit his family and we have to go to the graveyard,” said Agnes Ramogibe, sister of the murdered Oupa Abel Ramogibe.

“We are angry and disappointed. R20?000 is nothing,” she added, referring to the amount of bail granted to Mdluli.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said it respected the court’s decision.

“Although we had hoped for them to be incarcerated until their case was finalised, we respect the court’s ruling and expect them to abide by the bail conditions.

“We will now focus on completing outstanding investigations.”

Mdluli was granted bail of R20?000 and his three co-accused bail of R10 000 each.

Magistrate Emmanuel Magomba said that while there was no direct evidence linking the four to the 1999 shooting, there was circumstantial evidence.
A witness had also seen three or four people running from the scene.

Magoba said a strong suspicion that Mdluli and court orderly Samuel Dlomo planned the killing of Oupa Abel Ramogibe in 1999 would be tackled during the trial.

Mdluli, Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lieutenant-Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi are charged with the shooting murder of Ramogibe.

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

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

“It is... the court’s view that on these charges the respective accused do have a case to answer when the matter goes on trial,” Magomba said.

“This is said with the understanding that evidence will have to be tendered and tested by cross-examination.”

Ramogibe, who married Mdluli’s ex-lover, was allegedly 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.

Magomba said that in reaching his decision he took into consideration five key points: whether the accused would endanger public safety; evade trial; influence witnesses or tamper with evidence; undermine the criminal justice system; or undermine public order.

He said the charges of assault and kidnapping brought by a witness, Alice Manana, could be sustained because of the lapse of time since the crime.

He said the evidence by the State was subject to serious doubt, but that it was clear that Ramogibe was shot dead in the company of Dlomo.

He said Dlomo had failed to shed light on the shooting.

Magomba said that State had a single witness who saw three to four officers running away from the crime scene.

“There is no evidence that any of the accused are linked to the shooting,” he said.

Magomba warned that the witness could not identify the officers running away from the scene and that ballistics test could not prove much either.

“There is no evidence that any of the accused is linked to the shooting by the ballistic test results emanating from those cartridges found on the murder scene,” said Magomba.

“As the investigation is still continuing, one cannot discount the possibility of more evidence becoming available to strengthen the State’s case,” he continued.

He said dockets had disappeared and that it was no coincidence that these appeared in Mdluli’s locker.

“Given the history of the case, the possibility of evidence being destroyed is understandable.”

The magistrate said the docket opened previously was investigated by the Vosloorus police station, while Mdluli had influence over the officers.

“This says a lot about his influence.

However the current team of investigators leader by Kobus Roelofse and Piet Viljoen from Cape Town are good. I doubt they [the accused] can influence them.”?

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