A police officer was promised cash, houses, cars, employment for his wife, and free education for his children if he implicated his boss, Richard Mdluli, in Oupa Ramogibe's murder, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday.
Warrant Officer Samuel Dhlomo, 57, was testifying in the trial of Mdluli and former policeman Mthembeni Mthunzi on charges of kidnapping, assault, and defeating the ends of justice.
Dhlomo told the court the promises were made shortly after his arrest in March 2011 for charges relating to Ramogibe's murder. He was charged with murder and attempted murder alongside Mdluli and Mthunzi. The charges against them were, however, dropped.
Following an inquest into the murder in 2012; charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, and defeating the ends of justice were reinstated against Mdluli and Mthunzi.
All three men were stationed at the Vosloorus police station, on Gauteng's East Rand, at the time of Ramogibe's death. Mdluli was station commander.
Ramogibe was married to Mdluli's former lover Tshidi Buthelezi. Mdluli and Mthunzi allegedly intimidated, kidnapped and assaulted Ramogibe. They have pleaded not guilty.
Mdluli had a long-term relationship with Buthelezi from his school days. During her relationship with the former police crime intelligence head, she met Ramogibe and they began a relationship. They married on July 22 1998.
Between 1997 and 1999, Mdluli allegedly went to extreme lengths to track down Buthelezi and Ramogibe.
Ramogibe allegedly received death threats after marrying Buthelezi and was told to leave her or he would be killed. He opened an attempted murder case shortly before being shot dead. No-one has been convicted of his murder. Mdluli was accused of sabotaging the investigation.
At his last court appearance, Mdluli claimed that a project – termed ulibambe lingashoni – was put together to falsely prosecute him.
On Monday, Dhlomo told the court that a few weeks before his arrest, two police officers came to his house in Vosloorus. They asked him if Mdluli put him under pressure to write the statement about Ramogibe's death in a particular way. He was told he would get arrested if they suspected he had helped Mdluli.
The two officers left Dhlomo with a copy of his statement and asked him to think about writing another one. When the men returned three days later, Dhlomo told them he was sticking to his initial statement. Dhlomo said he was arrested weeks later and placed in custody at the Barrage police station in Parys.
During his trips to the Boksburg Magistrate's Court for his formal bail application, one officer would constantly ask him to change his statement and to admit that the original statement he initially submitted was written under duress from Mdluli.
Dhlomo said he was warned that if he did not "tell the truth", both he and Mdluli would be arrested, but that Mdluli could walk free while he remained in prison. "We are trying to make things easy for you. Just admit that [Mdluli] asked you to make a statement in the manner that you did," Dhlomo said he was told. If he agreed, he would be taken to a senior police official.
"Promises were made that I would be given a home in Cape Town or Durban, that my children would study for free, [the senior authority] would get my wife a job, and that there would be cars available," Dhlomo said.
He said this discussion became routine every time he was taken to court.
"I said I am not interested in what you guys are telling me. I have my own house, I don't need anyone's house, I'm employed," he said.
The trial continues. – News24