Mdluli lawyer pokes holes in witness testimony

Suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. (M&G)

Suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. (M&G)

Oupa Ramogibe could have been killed by his former girlfriend, said a defence lawyer at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

This came out during Mdluli's lawyer, Ike Motloung's, cross-examination of Ramogibe’s mother, Sophia, on the third day of the inquiry.

Sophia revealed that Ramogibe was already romantically involved with Lerato Sebalo when he started seeing the suspended crime intelligence boss Mdluli's partner, Tshidi Buthelezi.

She said Sebalo soon caught wind of Ramogibe’s affair and begged Sophia to intervene.

But Ramogibe instead broke up with Sebalo and went on to marry Buthelezi in secret.

Motloung then implied that Buthelezi may have been the one involved in the murder of Ramogibe instead of Mdluli but Sophia said she was not convinced that was the case.

Buthelezi is expected to make an appearance on Thursday at the request of the magistrate.

Conspiring with police
During his line of questioning, Motloung accused Sophia of conspiring with the police in 2010 as her statement at the time differs from the initial statement she made 10 years earlier.

For instance, Motloung pointed out that in her earlier statement Sophia said that a man who identified himself as Phillip called her to gloat about her daughter Justina’s rape and asked whether she had enjoyed herself.

But in her 2010 statement, Sophia said the man who called did not identify himself.

The latter statement also said that Justina was raped because the family kept pursuing the murder of Ramogibe but the initial statement did not link the rape of Justina with the murder.

Motloung described Sophia’s 2010 statement as a "new-found version" between herself and the police as they wanted to connect the murder and rape case.

It was also revealed that Ramogibe never laid any assault charges against Mdluli despite Sophia’s earlier assertions that Mdluli had beaten her son.

Justina returned for cross-examination on Wednesday after breaking down in tears in court while being questioned by the defense yesterday.

She admitted that she had no idea who killed her brother and neither did the state.

Motloung again labeled Justina as a dishonest witness.

This after she told the court that Mdluli threatened her mother several times, whereas her mother said that was not the case.

"Let's sharpen it, who's telling the truth between you and your mom?" said Motloung.

Justina was adamant she was not lying and reminded the court that her mother was elderly so their statements may differ at times.

Moltoung was not convinced, saying her testimony was a "transparent attempt to lie to this court and we can see through it".

The inquest continues on Thursday.

* 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.

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Nelly Shamase

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