Investigating Mdluli would have been career suicide, senior cop tells court

2016-06-07 14:22
Richard Mdluli (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Richard Mdluli (Ahmed Areff, News24)

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Johannesburg – Investigating former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli would have been career suicide, a senior police officer told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Tuesday.

"[Mdluli] was one of those identified for fast-tracked promotion in the police. I did not want to commit career suicide by investigating a case against him," former Lieutenant Colonel Nico Christo de Goede told the court.

He was being questioned by the State in the trial of Mdluli and his co-accused, Mthembeni Mthunzi, on charges of intimidation, kidnapping, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

He said Mdluli had kept two dockets, in which he was implicated in kidnapping and assault, locked away in a safe in his office at the Vosloorus police station, while Mdluli was station commander there.

De Goede said he had found the dockets a week after taking up the position of acting branch commander at the Vosloorus police station in 1999, following Mdluli's transfer to George.

De Goede said he did not get a formal handover from Mdluli on his first day, and found Mdluli's office locked. When it was opened later that day, he found the locked safe.

'I deduced that Mdluli was involved'

De Goede called Mdluli, who told him he bring the keys to the safe by the end of the week. Mthunzi’s office was opposite Mdluli’s.

When De Goede arrived the following Monday, he found the keys on his desk. He had no idea who had put them there.

He found the dockets in the safe and he asked Mthunzi if he knew anything about them, but did not tell him what they contained.

"These dockets were not registered, they were not allocated a CAS number, but they had complaints written on them," De Goede said.

One docket was for attempted murder and another was for kidnapping.

"I deduced that [Mdluli] was involved and was a suspect in those two cases."

After reading them, he gathered that a man had been taken from Orange Farm to Dawn Park, where it appeared he was assaulted and shot at. The man appeared to have had an affair with Mdluli's wife, De Goede told the court.

He decided to take the dockets to the police headquarters in Germiston, where he told a Director Mashigo about them.

'In short, I refused to do it'

Mashigo instructed De Goede to leave the dockets with him, saying he would get in touch with him in a few days.

"A few days afterwards, he called me to come and fetch the dockets and proceed with the investigation. In short, I refused to do it," De Goede told the court.

His reasons included that his mandate was only to get the station ready for Mdluli's replacement, not to investigate dockets.

De Goede told the court he only heard about the case again years later, around 2008 or 2009, when he learnt the dockets had been stolen from a court in Boksburg.

Mdluli and Mthunzi allegedly intimidated, kidnapped, and assaulted Oupa Ramogibe. They have pleaded not guilty.

The charges against the pair stem from the alleged extreme lengths Mdluli went to between 1997 and 1999 to find out where Tshidi Buthelezi and Ramogibe were hiding.

Mdluli had a long-term relationship with Buthelezi from his school days and 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:    police  |  richard mdluli  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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