Mdluli inquest draws to a close

Richard Mdluli. (Gallo)

Richard Mdluli. (Gallo)

Suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli arranged for two men from the taxi industry to kill Oupa Ramogibe, the Boksburg Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday, as the inquest into the death of Ramogibe drew to a close.

During his testimony, Colonel Kobus Roelefse said he had come across former Sun City prison inmate Mbuselelo Xulu while investigating Ramogibe’s murder.

He said Xulu was incarcerated with Colonel Nkosana Ximba at the prison some time after Ramogibe’s murder for an unrelated matter.

While behind bars, Ximba confided in Xulu and told him that the hit on Ramogibe was planned and Mdluli had orchestrated it with the help of two men from the taxi industry, said Roelefse.

It has already emerged during the inquest’s proceedings that two males accosted Ramogibe on February 17 1999 in Vosloorus as he revisited the scene where an earlier attempt on his life had been made two months prior. They shoved him around before one of them shot him five times.

Besides Mdluli, Ximba is also among those who may face criminal charges pending the outcome of the inquest.

The court also heard that there have been two cases lodged against the special team assembled to investigate Mdluli for excessive force against witnesses.

Mdluli’s lawyer Ike Motloung said members of the team "were threatening people and putting them under pressure" to give them information they could use against Mdluli.

Motloung said one complainant alleged that a gun had been used to threaten her and the investigators had reneged on an earlier promise to put her in the witness protection programme in exchange for her cooperation.

Motloung told the court that it was obvious that the special team "operated with a blank cheque" and were driven by a strong desire "to find whatever dirt" they could to build a case against Mdluli.

Roelefse denied Motloung’s assertions and said even if there was a plot against Mdluli as it has been alleged, it was still secondary to the murder case.

"There was no conspiracy. I would have removed myself if that was true. People came forward and gave us information when Mdluli was arrested," said Roelefse.

Magistrate Jurg Viviers adjourned the inquest until November 2, when he will deliver his judgment.

The former co-accused are Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo and Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mtunzi. This inquest will determine whether charges against Mdluli should be re-opened.

Nelly Shamase

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