Mdluli trial: 'My brother died for love‚ died at the hands of the police'
The murder of Oupa Ramogibe‚ who allegedly stole the heart of the customary wife of crime boss Richard Mdluli‚ was poorly investigated‚ the South Gauteng High Court heard on Friday.
For 12 years‚ a Germiston police officer who handled the case failed to get any solid leads on the killing‚ said prosecutor Deon Barnard.
“Nothing was ever done. Nobody wanted to talk to him‚” said Barnard.
He was addressing the court where Mdluli and a former police officer‚ Mthembeni Mthunzi were appearing.
The pair are alleged to have kidnapped and assaulted Ramogibe. They are also accused of intimidating his family and defeating the ends of justice.
But an inquest cleared them of any involvement in Ramogibe’s murder‚ who was shot in 1999.
According to his sister‚ Mantle Jiyane‚ this had been the second attempt on her brother’s life. The 26-year-old was shot in the shoulder as he walked in the streets alone one evening.
“There was an attempted murder before. He was living with me after he had been shot in Vosloorus‚ ” said Jiyane.
Several months later‚ the police fetched him from his sister’s house in Spruitview. They asked that he go with them to the point out the spot where he had been shot.
He agreed and as he pointed out the scene‚ a group of armed men ambushed them‚ disarmed the police and shot him dead.
“He was with the police. He died in the hands of the police‚” said Jiyane.
None of the officers were injured or killed.
Jiyane said Mdluli had made threats that he would kill Ramogibe if he did not leave Tshidi Buthelezi alone.
Mdluli had paid lobola for the young woman and the couple had a child together. But Ramogibe and Buthelezi had continued their relationship and married in secret.
“My brother died for love‚” said Jiyane.
She wondered whether justice would ever be served for her brother.
But this wasn’t the only partially investigated crime that involved Mdluli.
A friend of Buthelezi‚ Alice Manana‚ claimed to have been first assaulted by Mdluli in 1998. He had wanted her to reveal Buthelezi and Ramogibe’s whereabouts as they hid in Orange Farm.
While Manana claimed to have opened a case following the assault‚ the docket concerning the matter was never found.
A few months later in 1999‚ she was shot in the shoulder.
Under cross-examination on Friday‚ Brigadier Woolganathan who was the top cop at the station where the case was opened‚ confirmed that the case was “close undetected“‚ meaning there were no suspects or leads in the matter.
But Barnard revealed that no ballistic tests were ever done on the bullet that wounded Manana.
Mdluli and Mthunzi have pleaded not guilty to the string of charges they face.
Mdluli has dismissed the allegations levelled against him as a plot which was formulated to stop him from progressing in his career.