Amanda Watson news editor The Citizen obituary

By Amanda Watson

News Editor

Mdluli tells court he’s a victim of an ‘officially sanctioned’ plot

He alleges a project, titled Ulibambe lingashoni, was started by senior police officers in an attempt to 'tarnish' his name.

Suspended Crime Intelligence head Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli claimed on Thursday in the South Gauteng High Court the “plot” against him was officially sanctioned.

Ulibambe lingashoni (Don’t let the sun set) was set in motion by senior police officers who wanted to “tarnish my name” and “bring me down”, Mdluli said.

Justice Ratha Makgoatlheng questioned Mdluli on this.

“Your contention is that ulibambe lingashoni was a project; what you can’t confirm is that it was official.

“But according to you, it was intended to pull you down so you were disqualified from ascending to the the position of head of intelligence,” asked Makgoatlheng.

“These false charges, according to you, were formulated and the witnesses, according to you, were canvassed and found in witness protection programmes, and they would have been coached to testify falsely against you.

“Is that the conspiracy you allege?” Makgoatlheng asked Mdluli.

“That’s correct, My Lord. If there is a name of a project, it can be traced who sanctioned it,” said Mdluli.

He stood by his previous testimony that the charges against him were simply the result of a domestic dispute, which had escalated out of control.

And, said Mdluli, because of this, a plan was made to keep him out of the position of divisional commissioner of Crime Intelligence.

“During the vetting process, [investigators] would have picked up there was a case pending against me and I would have failed the secrecy [clearance] which I was supposed to have obtained,” Mdluli testified. He added that if he had indeed been hiding a crime, he would never have beaten the numerous lie detector tests that were administered to him at various stages in his career.

Mdluli spent much of the day under cross-examination by prosecutor Willem van Zyl, who accused Mdluli of going on a hunt for his wife, Tsidi Buthelezi, and Oupa Ramogibe, in whose company Mdluli found his wife at a stranger’s home.

“I can’t hunt my wife, I paid lobola for her.

“Traditionally, you pay the lobola, her family released her to me, she was staying with me, why would I hunt my wife?

“I was going to fetch my wife where she was,” said Mdluli.

Mdluli was in a traditional marriage with Buthelezi, while Buthelezi was in a civil marriage with Ramogibe, who was eventually found dead.

Mdluli and Mthembeni Mthunzi face five counts of intimidation, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm and one of defeating the ends of justice.

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