Mdluli told parents they would pick up son's body parts, court hears

2015-06-01 14:49
Richard Mdluli (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Richard Mdluli (Ahmed Areff, News24)

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Johannesburg - Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli threatened that the body parts of his ex-lover's husband would be strewn around Johannesburg's East Rand, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday.

The parents of Oupa Ramogibe - the husband of Tshidi Buthelezi, who is also Mdluli's former lover - would find his body parts all over Vosloorus, he apparently said.

Lerato Seballo, Ramogibe's girlfriend during the 1997/8 period, testified that she had heard Mdluli threaten to kill Ramogibe on a number of occasions.

She said she met Ramogibe in school in 1992.

"We had a relationship and a child was born out of the relationship," she said through a court translator.

Seballo said she first met Mdluli in 1997, when he came to her house.

"He knocked on the door, and I asked who was it. He kept on knocking until I opened the door. He was outside and was in the company of a gentleman who was much younger than him."

She said he introduced himself, and said he was an officer. He also introduced the other man as Buthelezi's younger brother. Seballo did not know who Buthelezi was at the time.

"They asked where Oupa was. I said he is not here. He explained that the reason he was looking for Oupa was because Oupa is in a relationship with his girlfriend," Seballo said, while squeezing her hands and occasionally glancing at Mdluli.

Mdluli, in a tan suit and green shirt and tie, only stared ahead from the dock, with his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi seated next to him.

'He said that if he finds Oupa he will kill him'

"He then went on to say that if Oupa wanted to stay with her he must pay what he [Mdluli] paid for her school fees, about
R12 000, as well as his lobola for Tshidi. He said that if he finds Oupa he will kill him."

Mdluli visited her again later in the same year.

"He said he was in the company of Abel (Ramogibe). I came out and went to them, and they were all in a vehicle with Oupa. Another policeman was with. I then requested that we go to Oupa's home and we can go see Oupa's parents."

She said she got into the car and they picked up Buthelezi's father before going to the house.

"When we got to Oupa's home, we sat in the dining room. I then explained to them the whole story."

"I was still young, I left the elders to continue with the discussion. Later, they were still talking when I heard Mdluli saying that if Oupa does not end the relationship, someday they will go out in Vosloorus, picking up Oupa's body pieces. He was talking to Oupa parents in Oupa's presence."

After the meeting, Mdluli dropped her back at her home.

'I was heartbroken'

"The following year, Mdluli came once again and visited, and said Oupa and Tshidi are married. It was the 2nd of September 1998.

"He brought with him a copy of the marriage certificate."

When asked by prosecutor Ziaas van Zyl if she knew what the date on the certificate was, she replied: "I didn't get to read the date because of the state I was in. I was heartbroken."

He again threatened to kill Ramogibe, she said. She then walked to Ramogibe's parents home.

"I informed his mother that if Mdluli said that if he finds him, he will kill him."

She said that several days later Mdluli came with Ramogibe's mother and took both of them to the Vosloorus police station.

"Mr Mdluli said he found Oupa. He told me he found him in Orange Farm. He said Oupa is still alive."

Sabello said he showed Ramogibe to them, and then took him to a room, and discussed something with him.

"He told me and Oupa's mother that he wanted him to divorce Tshidi."

Sabello later moved out of Vosloorus and had no contact with Ramogibe.

"Sometime after I heard that Oupa was staying with Tshidi at his sister's place."

Ramogibe was killed in 1999.

Pleaded not guilty

"A while afterwards I approached the ICD (Independent Complaints Directorate). This was prompted by me seeing there was no progress in the investigation into Oupa's death."

Earlier on Monday, Mdluli and Mthunzi pleaded not guilty to charges against them. Mthunzi only faced 7 of the 12 charges. The other charges relate to the incident with Sabello and one of Mdluli attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria, which reinstated fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli in an order sought by Freedom Under Law.

Mdluli appeared on October 7, when the matter was postponed so the defence could be provided with documents.

He was suspended amid allegations of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to Ramogibe's murder.

The fraud and corruption charges were withdrawn on December 14 2011, and in March 2012, Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence.

A month later, the NPA provisionally withdrew the murder charges, pending an inquest. In May that year, then police minister Nathi Mthethwa announced that Mdluli would be transferred from crime intelligence to the office of the deputy national police commissioner for operations.

Later, he was suspended for a second time when allegations emerged from the inquest into Ramogibe's murder. In November 2012, the inquest cleared him of any involvement in the murder.

According to the charge sheet presented at a hearing in August, Mdluli went to extreme lengths between 1997 and 1999 to find out where Buthelezi and Ramogibe were hiding.

Mdluli had a long-term relationship with Buthelezi from school days and he claimed she was his wife.

However, during her relationship with Mdluli, Buthelezi met Ramogibe and they began a relationship. They married on July 22 1998.

Read more on:    richard mdluli  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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