Mdluli charge sheet alleges love triangle assault

Johannesburg - Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli allegedly went to extreme lengths between 1997 and 1999 to find out where his former lover Tshidi Buthelezi and her husband where hiding, according to a charge sheet.

Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mtunzi-Omhle Mthunzi, 54, allegedly forced Buthelezi's friend Alice Manana out of her Boksburg home and took her to the Vosloorus police station where she was assaulted with open hands and clenched fists for information about Buthelezi's whereabouts.

This is according to the charge sheet presented at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, where Mdluli appeared earlier on Monday.

Mthunzi and Mdluli worked together at the police station between 1997 and 1999, where Mdluli was the branch commander.

Mdluli had had a long-term relationship with Buthelezi since school days and he claimed she was his wife. He bought a property in Dawn Park and lived there with her. Mdluli and Buthelezi had a child together.

During her relationship with Mdluli, Buthelezi met Oupa Ramogibe and they began a relationship, and later [22 July 1998] married.

Buthelezi did not inform Mdluli of this development, and he found out about the wedding and obtained a copy of the marriage certificate.

According to the document, Ramogibe was in another relationship with Lerato Seballo at the same time as Buthelezi.

"Accused two [Mdluli] visited the homes of Seballo, Sophia Ramogibe, and Jostinah Ramogibe in an attempt to convince them by means of intimidation to put pressure on Tshidi Buthelezi and Oupa to end their relationship," the charge sheet said.

"Buthelezi and Oupa went into hiding after they got married and it came to their knowledge that Mdluli was looking for them. At one stage, they hid in Orange Farm."

The two accused then visited Manana at her Boksburg home in 1998, allegedly took her against her will, and instructed her to show them where Buthelezi and Oupa were hiding.

Alleged assault

The accused took Manana to the Vosloorus police station where she was allegedly assaulted.

She was told to speak the truth or she would be killed.

They then took her to Orange Farm, and found Buthelezi and Oupa Ramogibe.

The couple were forcefully removed from the property and taken to the police station, where they were assaulted together.

Ramogibe was shot dead on 17 February 1999.

The following day the Ramogibe family reported the incident which led to Ramogibe's death to the police. Ramogibe allegedly received death threats after marrying Buthelezi and was told to leave her or he would be killed. He had opened an attempted murder case before his death.

"It will be alleged that accused two secreted the police dockets concerning the attempted murder of Alice Manana and the kidnapping of Oupa, in the safe in his office at the Vosloorus police station, to ensure that no further criminal investigations and/or criminal prosecutions would be instituted against him," according to the charge sheet.

Earlier on Monday, Mdluli was formally charged in court, and his case was postponed to 7 October.

He faces charges including kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, intimidation, and defeating the ends of justice.

Other charges against Mdluli were reinstated earlier this year after the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a high court ruling against the withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against him.

This was after Freedom Under Law sought an order in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to set aside the decisions and reinstate the charges against him.

Mdluli was suspended amid allegations of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to Ramogibe's death in 1999.

Murder, kidnapping

In the Boksburg Magistrate's Court, Mdluli and three others were initially accused of killing Ramogibe, intimidation, kidnapping, assault with grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

The fraud and corruption charges, meanwhile, relate to a different time in Mdluli's life - in his capacity as head of the crime intelligence unit.

He is accused of employing family members and friends as intelligence operatives, and misusing police funding to buy luxury cars.

The fraud and corruption charges were withdrawn on 14 December 2011, and in March 2012, Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence.

A month later, the NPA provisionally withdrew the murder charges, pending an inquest into the matter.

In May that year, then police minister Nathi Mthethwa announced Mdluli would be transferred from crime intelligence to the office of the deputy national police commissioner for operations.

Later, he was suspended for a second time when allegations emerged from the inquest into Ramogibe's murder. In November 2012, the inquest cleared him of any involvement in the murder.