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Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli sentenced to five years in jail

Tankiso Makhetha Investigative reporter
The high court in Johannesburg has sentenced former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi to a five year jail term each.
The high court in Johannesburg has sentenced former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi to a five year jail term each.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his co-accused Mthombeni Mthunzi have been sentenced to five years in jail each in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. 

Mthunzi and Mdluli were found guilty in 2019 for the 1998 kidnapping, assault and intimidation of Oupa Ramogibe, who had married Mduli’s customary law wife Tshidi Buthelezi.

Mdluli and Mthunzi went to a house in Vosloorus, on the East Rand, where they assaulted Buthelezi’s friend, Alice Manana, forcing her to disclose Buthelezi and Ramogibe’s whereabouts. The two cops then found the pair in Orange Farm and assaulted Ramogibe. Ramogibe was murdered in 1999. Mdluli was charged with Ramogibe’s murder in 2011, but the charges were later dropped.

While handing down the sentence, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng harshly criticized the former senior officers for abusing their power and authority as seniors police officers.

Mokgoatlheng sentenced the pair to three years each for two counts of kidnapping, to run concurrently. He sentenced them to one year each for two counts of assault and two years each on two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Mokgoatlheng said the cumulative sentence is five years. 

“I considered the custodial sentence and correctional services sentence and the victim compensation and a fine. But we are dealing with two senior police officers who aggravated themselves with laws that they broke themselves and found the sentence to be appropriate by balancing it with the commission of the crimes,” Mokgoatlheng said. 

Before handing down sentence, Mokgoatlheng relayed events that took place on the day the kidnappings and assault took place. “They instructed Alice Manana against her will to go and show them where Tshidi was,” he said. 

“Accused two (Mdluli) had information that Tshidi was at a kitchen party with Alice. Alice was assaulted, and taken to the police station after being duped that she was being arrested for kidnapping Tshidi,” Mokgoatlheng said.

He said the trip led them to Sarah Mokgele, Manana’s sister, who gave Buthelezi a lift to Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg. 

“She was woken up without regard to privacy. The accused identified themselves as police officers and masquerading that they were on official duty. Sarah pointed out the address where she had left Tshidi on the Saturday. The accused invaded the house with two of their colleagues,” he said. 

Mokgoatlheng said Ramogibe was bundled out of the house and tried to resist in vain. 

“The entourage went to the Vosloorus police station where Sophie Ramogibe was fetched by one of the other two officers. She went there after being summoned and was shown her son and told nothing would happen to him. 

"At the police station, Alice Manana and Oupa were assaulted. After that, Alice was driven home and arrived at around 3am. From 7pm the previous night, she was deprived her liberty. Oupa and his mother and younger brother were released while Sophie had to walk in the middle of the night barefooted. Her crime was giving birth to Oupa. It’s baffling,” he said. 


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