A probation officer has recommended the Gauteng High Court sentence former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi to house arrest.
Mdluli and Mthunzi were convicted in July last year on two counts of kidnapping, two counts of common assault and two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in connection with the 1999 kidnapping and assault of Oupa Ramogibe.
Mdluli had a long-term relationship with Tshidi Buthelezi dating back to his school days. During her relationship with him, she met Ramogibe and they began a relationship. They eventually got married on 22 July 1998.
Eleven students were arrested at the University of Fort Hare’s Alice campus on Wednesday following another day of protests over financial exclusions and other issues.
Between 1997 and 1999, Mdluli allegedly went to extreme lengths to track down Buthelezi and Ramogibe by trying to get Alice Manana to show him where the couple had relocated.
The two men eventually found Ramogibe on Orange Farm in 1999, where he was assaulted and taken to Vosloorus Police Station. Ramogibe was later shot dead.
No one was ever prosecuted for his death.
Mdluli and Mthunzi were both acquitted on the intimidation of Manana and defeating the ends of justice.
On Wednesday, social worker Mulalo Nematendani read a victim impact report in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, in which she made her recommendations after interviewing the victims on the matter.
Nematendani told the court that, since Ramogibe’s death, his mother Maletsatsi Ramogibe had experienced health challenges.
Nematendani said that the mother and her family lived in constant fear and were battling financially as they were relocated through a witness protection program away from their Vosloorus home for three years.
When she eventually returned home, her house had been vandalized and her municipal bill had skyrocketed. She was also unable to obtain the title deed to her house.
Nematendani said Manana felt an injustice was done to her as the case had dragged on for years.
“For years, she lived in constant fear of her life and didn’t want to go back to stay in her old house as it brought back memories of the trauma she went through. The incident had affected her life and she used to get nightmares and flashbacks,” Nematendani said.
In response, Mdluli’s lawyer, Ike Motloung, said Maletsatsi was the secondary victim.
“There is a danger that the accused may be punished for that murder. Unfortunately, it is not the case here. They were never charged with murder. The court found Oupa was assaulted either in 1998 or roundabout there.
“Tshidi never mentioned any blood on Oupa’s t-shirt or any assault. Truth behaves strangely here. Manana repeats her version that the killer was also there when the accused collected her. According to her, the killer didn’t do anything. During an inquest hearing, she didn’t have a clue whether that person was [the] killer or not,” Motloung said.
Nematendani replied that, according to Manana, she didn’t witness any assault on Ramogibe on Orange Farm and only witnessed one assault at Vosloorus Police Station.
Sentencing proceedings continue.