Community rehabilitation recommended for Mdluli co-accused

Richard Mdluli was found guilty of four counts of intimidation, two of kidnapping, two of common assault and two of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. (Felix Dlangamandla/Gallo Images).
Richard Mdluli was found guilty of four counts of intimidation, two of kidnapping, two of common assault and two of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. (Felix Dlangamandla/Gallo Images).

Former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli was a no-show for the first half of the sentencing proceedings in the case against him in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Even so, the case continued without him and sentencing arguments were instead heard regarding his co-accused, Mthembeni Mthunzi, who took the stand in mitigation of his sentence.

He maintained his innocence, saying he was not involved in the crime.

"I have done nothing wrong," he told the court.

Social worker Mulalo Nemutandani had interviewed Mthunzi's family and testified about his personal and family history.

She said she had received only positive reviews of Mthunzi as his family believed he was kind, supportive and a person who never resorted to violence.

RELATED | Richard Mdluli cleared on four intimidation counts

As a child, Mthunzi was never abused or exposed to violence in his family setting and his parents were also supportive of his physical and mental needs, Nemutandani said.

Despite this, she recommended that a fine would not be a suitable punishment for him and although direct imprisonment would be an option, given his age and family responsibilities, he could benefit more from rehabilitation within the community instead.

Mthunzi begged the court to agree with Nemutandani, saying his wife would never cope with him being in jail.

He said he had two children in school and his wife would not be able to support them financially with him gone, and his mother was on her death bed.

State advocate Zaais van Zyl, however, was adamant that direct imprisonment for Mthunzi was a suitable punishment given the seriousness of the crime.

The case dates to 1999 when Mdluli and Mthunzi were found guilty of charges relating to the kidnapping and assault of Oupa Ramogibe.

Ramogibe was married to Mdluli's former lover, Tshidi Buthelezi.

Case recap

Between 1997 and 1999, Mdluli allegedly went to extreme lengths to track down Buthelezi and Ramogibe. Mdluli and Mthunzi allegedly kidnapped and assaulted Ramogibe.

He was shot dead in 1999.

No one was ever convicted of Ramogibe's murder, however, Mdluli was accused of sabotaging the investigation.

Mdluli was found guilty of four counts of intimidation, two of kidnapping, two of common assault and two of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

ALSO READ | Mdluli and his co-accused found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting his former lover's husband

Mthunzi was found guilty of two counts of kidnapping, two of common assault and two of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The case has been postponed to Wednesday to continue with sentencing proceedings. 

On Monday, it was also postponed to allow the defence to study Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng's revised judgment. 

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