Former crime boss Richard Mdluli found guilty of kidnapping, assault
Former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli has been found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting his former lover's husband.
Mdluli was on Tuesday found guilty of four counts of intimidation, three counts of assault and two counts of kidnapping in relation to a 1999 love triangle.
In 1997, Mdluli's customary wife, Tshidi Buthelezi, had an affair with a much younger man, Oupa Ramogibe. The two secretly married in 1998.
Ramogibe was murdered in 1999 in an alleged robbery gone wrong. This happened while he was pointing out to police the location of a previous attempt on his life.
At the time of the events, Mdluli was head of the Vosloorus police station.
His co-accused, Mthembeni Mdluli, a detective at Vosloorus, was also found guilty of kidnapping and assault on Tuesday.
Buthelezi was Mdluli's customary wife. He had paid lobola for her and had a child with her. He bought a furnished house and paid for her studies. She had an affair and then later eloped with Ramogibe.
Mdluli was found guilty of intimidating Ramogibe's friends and family members when trying to break up the affair. He was also found guilty of kidnapping Ramogibe, who had been hiding from him, along with Buthelezi.
The mother of Ramogibe's child, Lerato Seballo, had testified that Mdluli said Ramogibe's body parts would be scattered all over Vosloorus if he didn't break up with Buthelezi.
She also testified Mdluli came to visit and said "if he finds Oupa Ramogibe he will kill him".
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng accepted her testimony despite contradictions, saying she never once retracted the stories of Mdluli visiting and making threats.
Mdluli was also found guilty of assault of Alica Manana, Buthelezi's best friend who witnessed the secret marriage, according to the marriage certificate.
On one occasion she was assaulted at a police station by Mdluli and his co-accused.
Mokgoatlheng dismissed Mdluli's arguments that witnesses had "concocted statements" as a conspiracy against him because he became crime boss in 2009.
"The conspiracy that a fabricated, concocted false version of all the material witnesses has not be shown in this court," he said.
Mokgoatlheng said of Mdluli's case it was "bad denial predicated on a defence of conspiracy".
"That conspiracy has not been proven," said Mokgoatlheng.
He found witnesses were truthful because, at times, their statements contradicted and they didn't exaggerate, which they may have done had their evidence been planned.
An inquest was held in 2012. The case began in 2015.
Many of the statements of Ramogibe's friends and family about the intimidation and death threats were made to police in 1999. The judge found these statements could not have been part of a conspiracy in 2011 to get rid of Mdluli as a crime boss.
"How could they have prophesied in 1999 he was going to be head of crime intelligence in 2011?"
Mokgoatlheng dismissed charges of Mdluli defeating the ends of justice, saying the state had failed to prove its case.