Victim’s sister raped, other sister ‘will be next’

2012-04-14 17:11

Months before the finalisation of the original investigation into Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli’s involvement in his love rival’s murder, one of the key witnesses was brutally raped by two men.

Two days later, the mother of murdered Oupa Ramokgibe received a threatening phone call from an unknown man, who warned her that she “was too clever” and that her other daughter “would be next”.

This was the culmination of a two-year reign of terror endured by the family of Oupa Ramokgibe, the man who married the lover of Mdluli.

Last month he was reinstated as the head of the police’s crime intelligence division, and also given command of the VIP and presidential protection unit.

At the time of the murder in 1999, Mdluli was head of the detective branch of the Vosloorus Police Station.

An inquest into Ramokgibe’s murder began in the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court this week, necessitated by the fact that murder charges against Mdluli and three co-accused were dropped in February.

The law requires the police to ensure that an inquest is conducted whenever there is doubt as to whether a person’s death is natural.

Despite this, no record of any inquest into Ramokgibe’s murder can be found in the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court in the 13 years since Mdluli was investigated for the murder.

This was after two separate sets of murder case dockets were handed to the National Prosecuting Authority in 2001, all of which were lost in court.

These facts emerged in the affidavit of Hawks investigating officer Colonel Kobus Roelofse, who testified in the inquest
this week.

In his affidavit, Roelofse notes that he was able to follow up a claim made by one of Ramokgibe’s sisters that she had been raped by two men in the early hours of June 11 2000.

Roelofse managed to recover a docket and five police registers that proved that a rape case had been opened by the woman that day at the Dawn Park Police Station.

According to Roelofse’s statement, she alleged that she was forced into a grey Nissan Skyline and “taken to an open space at the entrance of Dawn Park, where she was raped by two males” wearing balaclavas.

Two days later, her mother, Maletsatsi Ramogibe, said in a statement that she had received two calls from an unknown man saying “she (Maletsatsi) is too clever” and that her “other daughter will be next”.

The rape took place less than two years after the Ramogibe family and their friends told police officers at the Vosloorus Police Station about how they were kidnapped and assaulted at the very same police station.

And this was while an investigation into Oupa’s murder was being conducted and the chief suspects were Mdluli, Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba, Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mtuzni and Samuel Dhlomo.

The family reported the claims on February 18 1999, the day after Ramokgibe was murdered.

Roelofse’s statement notes that although a rape kit was taken from Ramokgibe’s sister, there was no record of it ever having been booked in as evidence.

Just over a month after the rape, Mdluli was promoted to the rank of director, now brigadier, and he was transferred to the Oudtshoorn Police Station in the Western Cape.

The rape docket was closed as “undetected” three months after the attack.

Mdluli’s promotion – at a time when he was being investigated in a criminal matter – appears to be out of step with the police’s guidelines, which require such investigations to be disclosed and considered.

Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said a commanding officer “must indicate if there are any outstanding cases against that member. The whole purpose is so that a person is not promoted while there are serious allegations against them.”

It was unclear if this was done in Mdluli’s case.

Late in 2000, investigating officer Johann du Plessis travelled to Oudtshoorn to demand an explanation from Mdluli.

According to Roelofse’s statement, Mdluli said he would submit an affidavit through his lawyer.

But no record of this affidavit was ever found.

Early in 2001, Du Plessis handed copies of the dockets to the National Prosecuting Authority at the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court.

When he subsequently inquired about the case, he was told the dockets were missing. He then resubmitted the original dockets, which also disappeared.

This was the last record of any type of investigation or inquest into Ramokgibe’s murder until all four men were rearrested last year.

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