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03 Sep 2012 12:48
Richard Mdluli. (Peggy Nkomo)
"Mr Mdluli told my daughters to look for Oupa, because if he had to look for him himself, he would kill him," said Oupa Ramogibe's mother Sophia.
She was testifying for the state in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court inquest into the death of her son, who was the husband of Mdluli's former lover.
Prosecutor Kholeka Gcaleka read out a statement she made on December 13 2010 and asked her to agree paragraph-by-paragraph.
The court heard that her son told her in 1999 that he was in love with a girl named Tsidi.
When Mdluli came to her house looking for her son, she told him she did not know where he was.
Mdluli told her he was looking for him because he had run away with his wife, according to Ramogibe's statement.
She accompanied Mdluli to her daughter's house to look for Oupa.
The court heard that Mdluli woke up Ramogibe a few days later to inform her that he had found her son, and he asked her to go with him to the police station.
She had initially thanked him for finding her son. This was the first time she saw Tsidi.
"Mdluli was insulting Oupa, saying he would shit himself if he doesn't stay away from his wife," Ramogibe said in her statement.
They went home when the police said they were not charging Oupa.
A few days later, Samuel Dlomo, one of Mdluli's alleged accomplices, went to the house to tell Oupa he was wanted at the police station in connection with a shooting.
Ramogibe said her son had been reluctant to go, but went because she told him to.
"Oupa went to the police station, but didn't come back.
I didn't expect any foul play because I knew he went to the police station," she said.
Ramogibe said she thought he had gone to the house of his sister, Elisabeth.
However, the next day Elisabeth, accompanied by police, told her that Oupa had been shot the previous day while pointing out the scene to the police, the court heard.
"I was so devastated because for the past month Mr Mdluli was looking for my son, intimidating him," she said.
"I found out my son died at the hands of the police." She said she was afraid of "Mdluli and his people".
Ramogibe told the court that even after she buried her son, no arrests had been made and she continued to pursue the matter.
She said a month after her son's death, one of her daughters was kidnapped and raped.
Ramogibe then received a call from a man who warned her that if she proceeded with the case, all her daughters would be killed. He said they were the people who had raped her other daughter, the court heard.
"From then my life was hell because of what he told me," she said.
Questioned by Magistrate Jurg Viviers, Ramogibe said she made the statement in February 1999, a few days after her son's death.
A hand-written copy of the initial statement, written in Afrikaans, was read out in court. Ramogibe disagreed with various paragraphs and pointed out various incorrect facts in the statement.
She said she did not understand Afrikaans and was told at the time to just sign the statement.
Ramogibe told the court that when she made the statement, she was not aware that Oupa and Tsidi were married.
Criminal charges against Mdluli and his alleged accomplices Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, and Lieutenant-Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi were provisionally withdrawn in February this year, pending the outcome of the inquest.
The charges against them were intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.
At the time of the crime, Mdluli was branch commander of the Vosloorus police station.
Ramogibe is currently in witness protection. – Sapa
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