AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
MOMENTS after he lost his freedom and made his way to spend his first night as a prisoner, former South African Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli proclaimed his innocence and began the battle for his freedom.
Mdluli, (62) who together with his co-accused and former cop Mthunzi Mthembeni, were convicted of kidnap and assault, declared after Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng sentenced them to an effective five years in prison, that he will approach the Supreme Court of Appeals.
He said he would also apply for bail, pending the appeal.
Mduli, who was convicted of the kidnap and assault of Oupa Ramokgibe, the man who was married to his ex-girlfriend, said he was not the perpetrator but the victim. He said he had not received a fair trial but said the facts supporting his statement would be contained in his appeal.
“They said I was involved in a matter case and that was dealt with by both the court and I was cleared on that matter and I still say, even this one, taking it to the Supreme Court of Appeal, we will get it our way,” Mdluli said.
Mdluli, a former lieutenant-general, was unfazed about his time in prison.
He said: “Even President Mandela went to prison. I am not a unique person. I am like an ordinary person of South Africa. Whatever happens to somebody else, it can happen to me. If a person like President Mandela was taken to prison for an offence he never committed, the same applies to me. I can’t say that I am better off than him.”
Mdluli’s lawyer, Ike Motloung was confident that his client would succeed in the Supreme Court of Appeal. “It’s going to be a long haul, finally, we will laugh last,” Motloung said.
South Gauteng High Court Judge Mokgoatlheng sentenced Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni for the 1999 crime. He found that time served in jail was appropriate for law enforcement officers who had abused the power and authority entrusted on them.
Ramokgibe, who was married to Tshidi, a former girlfriend of Mdluli, died under mysterious circumstances in 1999. Tshidi also died after a short illness.
The sentence of Mdluli and Mthunzi follows their conviction, in 2019, of the kidnap and assault of Tshidi and Oupa as well as their friend Alice Manana.
Mdluli was head of the South African Police’s Crime Intelligence from 2009 to 2012.