Terrified of Mdluli
Former national police crime intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli allegedly used his position to prevent investigations into the murder of his love rival.
Details of a systematic campaign to intimidate the family of Oupa Ramogibe, who was killed in 1999, emerged for the first time yesterday.
Testifying at an inquest in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court, 13 years after her son's murder, a still terrified Sophia Ramogibe relived the day on which her son was killed.
"They killed him. When I tried to find out who did this, they kidnapped and raped my daughter."
Ramogibe was shot in Vosloorus while pointing out the place where, days before, an attempt had been made on his life.
Ramogibe, 62 - a protected witness for the past 18 months, along with 11 others - yesterday told of her years of anguish because of the police's failure to bring her son's killers to book.
The elderly mother and her family claim that they have been victims of repeated harassment as they fought for justice.
Terror campaigns that the family has endured since Ramogibe's death include late-night raids, and the kidnapping and rape of one of Ramogibe's daughters.
"When I continued to look for my son's killers, a man phoned and warned me to stop. He said that if I didn't he would kill all my daughters."
Mdluli has maintained his innocence and claimed the allegations against him were a smear campaign to prevent him from being promoted.
He claims Ramogibe was murdered while his colleague, Colonel Samuel Dlomo, was taking him to point out where an earlier attempt had been made on Ramogibe's life.
A police report filed by Dlomo at the time stated that two gunmen robbed him of his service pistol, which they used to shoot Oupa. Ramogibe's family, however, believe he was killed because he married Mdluli's former lover, Tshidi Buthelezi.
The inquest, which has been set down for the next month, might be the last chance the Ramogibes have to seek justice and closure.
Yesterday, Sofia Ramogibe and her daughter testified they believed the harassment of the family was linked to their pursuit for justice.
As heavily armed police keept a close watch over the witnesses, the court was given an insight into Mdluli's alleged campaign of terror.
"All we want is justice. We want those who repeatedly came into our homes and attacked us to pay for their crimes," said Ramogibe's daughter.
Reliving the events of the past 13 years took its toll on Ramogibe, who was rushed to a doctor after giving her emotional testimony.
Her daughter said that, after the family unsuccessfully tried to open a case of intimidation against Mdluli, she was kidnapped and raped.
That rape - her mother was told in a late-night anonymous phone call - was "just a warning".
"My mother was scared. She knew who was behind this. It was Mdluli," the daughter, now in her 40s, said.
Mdluli's lawyer, Ike Motloung, dismissed her evidence, saying: "What evidence do you have? You never saw who did this. You don't know it was Mdluli."
Both mother and daughter opened another can of worms when they revealed that their statements had been altered and that the signatures on the affidavits were not theirs.
This prompted magistrate Jurg Viviers to ask the daughter if it was her handwriting.
"No, it is not. I don't write like that. Neither are those scribbles on the bottom of the page my signature," she said.
Sofia Ramogibe had earlier testified that the statement was not accurate.
She said she had convinced Oupa to go to the police after Mdluli's men came looking for him in connection with his relationship with Buthelezi.
"He was hiding and Mdluli came to me and said he wanted to help him.
"He did [go to the police] but didn't come back home. I didn't expect any foul play because I knew he went to the police station where he would be safe," she said.
Mdluli, Dlomo and Mdluli]'s subordinates, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba and Lieutenant-Colonel Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi, were originally charged with intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
In February the National Prosecuting Authority controversially dropped all charges against the men.
The inquest will determine if they should be reinstated.