Suspicion that former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli orchestrated the death of a love rival was not sufficient grounds to charge him, the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court found on Friday (02/11/2012).
"What appeared to be a skeleton in the cupboard for Mdluli, was, with respect, only a ghost,” said magistrate Jurg Viviers.
"The only way of finding the answers would be with the assistance of the mythical Jacques Aymar and his divine rod.”
Aymar, born in 1622, was a stonemason in France who claimed he could trace fugitives using a divining rod.
The magistrate said it did not make sense that someone involved in a love triangle would run the risk of bringing five others into a plan to kill the third person in the triangle and be successful.
"The risk of one of the five spilling the beans is simply too high.” Viviers found there was no evidence that implicated Mdluli and three others in the death of Oupa Ramogibe.
Ramogibe died in February 1999 after marrying Mdluli’s mistress Tsidi Buthelezi.
The Ramogibe family had accused Mdluli of killing Oupa, but Mdluli claimed there was a plot to implicate him and that the Ramogibe family was working with police.
Viviers said the theory that Mdluli was the one who organised Ramogibe’s death appeared consistent with facts.
However, there was no logical conclusion that he was behind the killing, especially in the absence of one or both of the actual killers.
"The death was brought by an act, prima facie amounting to an offence, on the part of unknown persons,” said Viviers.
"There is no evidence, on a balance of probabilities, implicating Richard Mdluli, Samuel Dlomo, Colonel Nkosana Sebastian Ximba, or Lt-Col Mtunzi-Omhle Mthembeni Mtunzi in the death of the deceased.”
Mdluli was accused of the murder, with Dlomo, Ximba, and Mtunzi, but the charge was provisionally withdrawn in February pending the outcome of the inquest.
Also withdrawn were charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Viviers said the inquest was about who killed Ramogibe.
He said other allegations, such as kidnapping, assault, and intimidation, were irrelevant to the inquest.
It was his job as the judicial officer holding the inquest to find whether there was evidence which would be credible and acceptable if a trial was to be held.
Mdluli’s lawyer, Ike Motloung, said he was elated by the finding.
"It is vindication,” he said outside court.
"That [was] a well-reasoned judgment (sic). It shows there is some hope in the judiciary. We feel particularly vindicated.”
Motloung said he saw no reason Mdluli would not be able to recover his reputation.
"If people are not prepared to listen to the courts, who are they prepared to listen to? ”Despite the 1999 investigation and the avalanche of the investigation that came recently through the... so-called Hawks, nothing came of it,” he said.
"If they don’t believe in it [the court process] they must get lost.” The Democratic Alliance said Mdluli should not start entertaining any notions of returning to his former position at the SA Police Service.
"Mr Mdluli would do well to recall that he is still under investigation by the inspector general of intelligence for his connection to the misuse of the crime intelligence ‘slush fund’, as well as for employing numerous family members as secret agents,” DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.
"The DA trusts that this investigation will be completed timeously and, if he is indeed found guilty of fraud and corruption, that justice is seen to be served and that this ridiculously long suspension results in [Mdluli’s] dismissal.” - Sapa