Judge in Mdluli case shocked at shoddy police work


The victim‚ Alice Manana‚ had suspected that Mdluli‚ a former police crime intelligence boss‚ had been behind her shooting in 1998. She was friends with Mdluli’s customary wife‚ Tshidi Buthelezi.

At the time‚ Mdluli was a station commander in Vosloorus.

Mokgoatlheng posed questions to Warrant Officer Solomon Mashamaite who had responded to the scene with his colleague.

Mashamaite told the Johannesburg High Court court that he did not secure the scene of the crime‚ neither did he look for the cartridge of the bullet that wounded Manana.

Mokgoatlheng questioned why Mashamaite wouldn’t perform such a basic task.

“Here is a guy‚ the person is shot‚ you can actually see that she is bleeding. She probably told you that she was shot here but you do not secure the scene? You don’t look for the cartridge so you can try to at least identify the caliber of the firearm?” Mokgoatlheng asked.

Mashamaite did not give a response.

When initially questioned on this point by Prosecutor Deon Barnard‚ Mashamaite had tugged on the edges of his jacket‚ looked up at the ceiling and said he could not recall.

He had testified that he opened the attempted murder docket when he got to the office. All he had was information from Manana that the alleged shooter was in a grey VW Golf. A witness at the scene had said he had seen a silver grey vehicle while another had said it was chocolate brown.

He did not get the vehicle registration number but when the docket reached investigating officer Joseph Israel‚ it contained a registration number.

Mashamaite did not know where the registration number had come from.

Efforts to trace owner of the vehicle through the car registration were‚ however‚ never made.

The docket landed with investigating officer‚ Warrant Officer Joseph Israel.

The docket later landed with Brigadier Woolganath Govender but was later closed as “undetected”‚ seemingly with no further investigation conducted.

“Between the three of you‚ how come you‚ Israel or Govender never made any efforts to properly investigate?” asked Barnard.

Ike Motloung‚ for Mdluli‚ objected and said Mashamaite was never tasked to investigate the matter.

Mashamaite had during his three day testimony made damning accusations against the prosecutors and investigating officer in Mdluli’s case.

He claimed to have been coerced to implicate Mdluli in Manana’s shooting to which he refused.

A recording of the 46-minute long consultation was played but no parts of the recording supported Mashamaite’s version.

He suggested that the prosecution team had tampered with the recording‚ deleting parts where he was intimidated.

Mashamaite’s testimony supports claims by Mdluli that there had been a huge conspiracy plot by high-ranking police officers and the Hawks to stop him from progressing in his career.

Mdluli claimed that witnesses were taken into safe houses where they were coached and trained to give false evidence about him.

He and his co-accused‚ Mthembeni Mthunzi‚ face charges of kidnapping‚ assault‚ intimidation and defeating the ends of justice.

All this relates to incidents which allegedly happened in the 90s.

The pair is accused of having had terrorized family and friends of Mdluli’s customary wife‚ Tshidi Buthelezi and Oupa Ramogibe.

The court heard that Buthelezi had got into a relationship with Ramogibe after Mdluli had paid lobola for her.

Ramogibe and Buthelezi later married in secret.

Ramogibe was shot dead in February 1999 after receiving death threats and being shot in the shoulder several weeks earlier.

An inquest cleared Mdluli of the murder but Ramogibe’s relatives and friends claim Mdluli had gone to the extreme in his bid to separate her from Buthelezi.

Manana claimed that in 1998‚ Mdluli and Mthunzi had assaulted her‚ forcing her to reveal where Ramogibe and Buthelezi had fled to.

She accompanied them to the couple in Orange Farm and later opened an assault case.

The docket however‚ was never found.

The trial continues.

– TMG Digital

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