Richard Mdluli: NPA to reinstate charges

2014-06-17 19:16

Suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli will be charged with kidnapping, assault and intimidation related to the unsolved 1999 Oupa Ramogibe murder case.

City Press can reveal that Mdluli’s lawyers and rights group Freedom Under Law (FUL) were today informed by the National Prosecuting Authority that Mdluli will face all of the charges related to the incident, except for the murder and attempted murder charges.

In the letter to FUL, National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana said that “due to the high profile nature of the case, the state is considering arraigning the matter in the high court".

"The state will not proceed with the murder and attempted murder charges at this stage due to a lack of evidence.”

Mdluli famously wrote to President Jacob Zuma ahead of the ANC’s Mangaung elective conference, offering the president his “assistance” if he were reinstated as crime intelligence head.

Nxasana today met a Supreme Court of Appeal deadline, which instructed the NPA to make a decision on these charges and notify FUL about the decision.

A separate set of fraud and criminal charges, related to Mdluli’s alleged plundering of the crime intelligence slush fund, has also been referred to senior prosecutors for a final decision.

There was no court deadline related to this set of charges, although the SCA’s order does have the legal effect of automatically reinstating the charges.

Nxasana’s spokesperson, Nathi Mncube, said that Nxasana had also informed Mdluli’s lawyers and FUL that they were “gathering a team of senior prosecutors to read the docket”.

“Nxasana doesn’t want a situation where charges are reinstated and then there turns out to be insufficient evidence.”

This may be the first indication of some small measure of justice for the family of Oupa Ramogibe, who have still not seen anyone held accountable for his death.

In November 2012, Ramogibe’s family testified at the inquest about the love triangle Oupa had apparently become part of because of his involvement with a woman named Tshidi Buthelezi, who was at one stage Mdluli’s lover.

Buthelezi and Ramogibe subsequently ran away to be married, terrified of Mdluli.

The Ramogibes testified extensively that Mdluli, with the help of other police officers, had allegedly threatened, kidnapped and assaulted friends and family in an attempt to find out where Buthelezi was.

The inquest, held at the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court, found that there was insufficient evidence to hold anybody responsible for Ramogibe’s murder.

The decision by the NPA to drop all the charges related to the Ramogibe matter against Mdluli was, however, questioned by judges in FUL’s subsequent application to have the decision to drop both sets of criminal charges reviewed.

FUL founder Johann Kriegler said they were “gratified” and that the decision was “very encouraging”.

The decision will likely see an intensification of the feud between warring factions within the NPA, which consist of those aligned to newly appointed NDPP Nxasana and those who are linked to Mdluli.

City Press understands there has still been no decision as to Nxasana’s fate, despite a very public smear campaign against the NDPP.

» This story was updated after first published.

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