Lawyer tries to discredit witness in Mdluli inquiry

Richard Mdluli. (Gallo)

Richard Mdluli. (Gallo)

The sister of the slain Oupa Ramogibe broke down in tears and had to be escorted out of the Boksburg Magistrate's Court today while being cross-examined on the second day of the inquiry involving suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

Ramogibe's sister, Justina, struggled to get through questions asked by Mdluli's lawyer, Ike Motloung, as well as those of Paul Leisher, Colonel Nkosana Ximba’s legal representative.

Barely 30 minutes into Motloung’s cross-examination, Justina asked magistrate Jurg Viviers for a break and he obliged.

Throughout his cross-examination, Motloung depicted Justina as an unreliable witness who gave conflicting statements.

He said: "Why do I get the idea that you have something to hide?"

Motloung pointed out that in her statement, Justina said that she did not know who raped her following her brother’s death, yet she told the court that her two assailants were policemen.

In her statement, Justina said her attackers were driving a grey Nissan Skyline but earlier she told the court that she could not recall the make of the car - only that it was a white sedan of sorts with police markings.

'Lying to the court'
Leisher was even more aggressive during his line of questioning and was not satisfied with Justina's responses.

"Now you’re lying to the court. You contradict yourself blatantly. Why are you lying to the court? I’m not going to let you off the hook," he said.

He said she had admitted that her statement and testimony was mainly based on information relayed to her by other people, therefore she "carries no weight" as a witness.

Leisher also accused her of having a selective memory as she remembered some things, but could not recall others.

And it appears that the rape statement purportedly made and signed by Justina is a forgery.
She denied having written it, saying its contents were inaccurate and the signature was not hers.

Said Leisher: "Do you agree that it would make absolutely no sense for any police officer in his right mind to [forge] this?"

She was not in agreement, saying she believed the police were capable of doing so as she does not trust them.

Shortly thereafter, Justina broke down and was escorted out of the courtroom.

'Skeptical'
Her mother, Sophia, took the stand again after lunchtime after a rise in her sugar levels caused her to leave during her own cross-examination on Monday.

Motloung was skeptical of the claims that Sophia feared Mdluli as she had willingly travelled with him in his car on at least two occasions.

Following pressure from Motloung, she admitted that she did not know for sure who killed her son.

Further proceedings were adjourned until Wednesday.

Ramogibe was romantically involved with the mother of Mdluli's child, Tshidi Buthelezi, during the time of his death and the inquiry is an attempt to probe who killed him, when and why.

It is on the basis of the outcome of this inquiry that Viviers will decide whether to re-instate criminal charges against Mdluli and his co-accused Colonel Nkosana Ximba, court orderly Samuel Dlomo and Lieutenant-Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mtunzi.

* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email [email protected] The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.

Nelly Shamase

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