- Former crime intelligence boss, Richard Mdluli and former colleague Mthembeni Mthunzi have each been sentenced to an effective five year jail term each by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
- Mdluli and Mthunzi were found guilty last year of kidnapping and assaulting Mdluli's ex-partner Tshidi Buthelezi and her husband Oupa Ramogibe and her friend Alice Manana in 1998.
- Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng said the sentence imposed on the two men would serve the purpose of deterrence and retribution.
Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi have been sentenced to an effective five years in jail for the 1999 kidnapping and assault of Oupa Ramogibe.
In 2019, the two were convicted of assaulting and kidnapping Mdluli's former lover, Tshidi Buthelezi, her husband, Ramogibe, and a friend, Alice Manana, in 1998.
Mthunzi and Mdluli were colleagues at the time of the incident.
In delivering the sentence in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng said Mdluli and Mthunzi abused the power and authority entrusted in them as senior policemen.
Mokgoatlheng said the only appropriate sentence for the accused was a custodial one.
Buthelezi and Ramogibe had since died. Buthelezi died from an illness, while Ramogibe was gunned down in 1999.
"Nothing is as priceless as the freedom of a movement of a person," said Mokgoatlheng, lambasting the two on Tuesday.
Sentence to serve as retribution
He said the five year sentence imposed on the two men would serve a purpose of deterrence and retribution.
Mokgoatlheng said the two men had taken, instructed and directed Manana against her will to go and show them where Buthelezi was.
"Manana was assaulted and first taken to the police station after being duped that she was being arrested for kidnapping Buthelezi.
"Subsequently, the trip went to Sarah Mokgoele who is Manana's sister and had given Buthelezi a lift to Orange Farm. Mokgoele was woken up by the accused and two other policemen.
"They used the symbolism of firearms in invading her house. Manana described their maneuver as military," said Mokgoatlheng.
Mokgoele then pointed out the house where Buthelezi was.
"Ramogibe was bundled out of a house by four officers. He tried to resist, but was all in vain. The entourage then headed to Vosloorus police station where Ramogibe's mother Sophie Ramogibe was summoned and fetched by one of the two officers accompanying the accused.
"At the police station, Manana and Ramogibe were assaulted. Manana was later driven home around 03:00 after being kept at the police station from 19:00 the previous night. Ramogibe, his brother and her mother were later released forcing his mother to walk barefooted.
Drastic abuse of power
"It is clear that threats were made to the Ramogibes. This is a callous, drastic abuse of power," said Mokgoatlheng.
Earlier this year, Mdluli asked for mercy from Mokgoatlheng, pleading with the court to feel for him and his children, saying sending him to jail would leave his young children suffering without a father figure in their lives.
Mdluli also claimed that he and Mthunzi were wrongfully convicted and that charges against him were trumped up following his promotion to lead the crime intelligence division.
He asked the court why charges against him were not opened in 1998, but were only opened in 2010 following his promotion.
Mdluli was expected back in court on another matter in November.
He was expected to appear in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on November 10, alongside former crime intelligence chief financial officer, Solomon Lazarus and former supply chain manager, Heine Barnard, to stand trial for allegedly abusing the Secret Services Slush fund.
They faced multiple counts of fraud, corruption, theft and defeating the administration of justice charges in relation to the alleged abuse of the Secret Services Slush fund.
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