Richard Mdluli's sentencing postponed for victims' statements
Sentencing proceedings in the assault and kidnapping case of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli were postponed until March 11 to allow the probation officer to consult the victims.
Proceedings in the case against Mdluli and his co-accused, former police officer Mthembeni Mthunzi, began in the high court in Johannesburg on Tuesday with the presentation of Mthunzi’s pre-sentencing report.
The two men were last year each convicted on two counts of assault, two counts of kidnapping and two of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
During the presentation of the report by probation officer Mulalo Nemutandani, prosecutor Zaais van Zyl SC said the report was not balanced as it did not contain interviews with the victims.
When it was time for the presentation of Mdluli’s pre-sentencing report on Wednesday, his attorney, Ike Motloung, told the court the probation officers in the case were told by the prosecution last year not to prepare victim impact statements.
Motloung said the impression created by Van Zyl when he cross-examined Nemutandani was that she should have interviewed the victims for her report.
Motloung said there was a clear instruction by the prosecution to the probation officers that the prosecution would handle victim impact statements and there was no need for probation officers to interview them.
However, another prosecutor in the case, Deon Barnard, told the court: “I said we would obtain victim impact statements. I never instructed her not to consult the victims. It was not for me to instruct her not to consult the victims.”.
However, Motloung said the instruction by the prosecution to the probation officers was clear.
“There is no denying that, upon inquiry by the probation officers, they were told the prosecution was dealing with the victims,” Motloung said.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng suggested that the probation officers interview the victims and include the additional material in their original reports.
All parties agreed.
The case relates to the assault of Mdluli's customary wife, Tshidi Buthelezi, and her boyfriend, Oupa Ramogibe, in 1998.
Mthunzi, now 60, accompanied Mdluli to a house in Vosloorus where they also assaulted Alice Manana to force her to reveal where Buthelezi and Ramogibe were.
Manana then accompanied Mthunzi and Mdluli to Orange Farm, where Buthelezi and Ramogibe were found. Ramogibe was then assaulted.