Suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli and his associates beat a witness so hard she bled from her ears. This is what Alice Manana testified at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday as the inquest probing the murder of Oupa Ramogibe continued.
Manana described herself as the best friend of Tshidi Buthelezi, the mother of Mdluli’s child.
She told the court that Buthelezi told her she was “fed up” with Mdluli and no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him.
At the time that Mdluli was involved with Buthelezi, he was already married and still living with his wife, said Manana.
She told the court that Mdluli would leave Buthelezi in the middle of the night and go back to his marital home.
At times, Mdluli would take the child Buthelezi had bore him to go and visit his wife.
A case of kidnapping
Knowing that Buthelezi and Manana were good friends, Mdluli went to the latter’s home when his girlfriend ran away from him, in order to ascertain her whereabouts, said Manana.
Mdluli was accompanied by Colonel Nkosana Ximba and Lieutenant Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mtunzi.
They demanded to know where Buthelezi was and Manana told them she did not know.
Mdluli then told Manana that she was the one who had kidnapped Buthelezi and he had opened a case of kidnapping against her.
They made her accompany them to the Vosloorus police station, where they beat her until she bled from her ears while demanding that she reveal Buthelezi’s location.
Manana then told them she suspected that Buthelezi was at Orange Farm and when the four of them went there to look for her, they found her with Ramogibe.
They all went to the Vosloorus police station where Manana and Ramogibe were beaten by Mdluli, Ximba and Mtunzi “for about 30 to 35 minutes”.
Mdluli later took them home in his green Golf.
Manana said after the beatings, she ended her friendship with Buthelezi and never saw or spoke to her again.
She told the court she did so because she was angry that Buthelezi’s boyfriend had beaten her over her affair – a matter that had nothing to do with her.
Mdluli’s lawyer Ike Motloung said there were no police records of the alleged assaults because “they were a figment of [Manana’s] imagination”.
Manana disagreed, saying Mdluli had purposely gotten rid of the dockets to safeguard himself.
Said Manana of Mdluli, Ximba and Mtunzi: “These people are capable of killing.”
Manana, like Ramogibe’s mother and two sisters, is also under witness protection.
Following Manana’s testimony, Ximba’s lawyer Paul Leisher said Buthelezi had written a statement before she died saying she suspected Lerato Sebalo – Ramogibe’s other girlfriend at the time – of hiring a hitman called Sipho Gumede to kill her.
The inquiry was adjourned for the day before Buthelezi’s statement could be probed.
Earlier in the day, Limpopo divisional commissioner Benny Ntlemeza told the court he believed Mdluli was innocent and is being victimised by forces against his appointment as head of crime intelligence.
The finalisation of the inquest will determine whether Mdluli, Ximba, Mtunzi and Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo are to face criminal charges.
This story was first published by the Mail & Guardian Online on September 18 2012.
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