South African ex-spy boss sentenced for kidnapping love rival

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – A former spy chief for the South African police was jailed on Tuesday for five years for the 1998 kidnapping and assault of a man who had married his lover.

Richard Mdluli, 62, and a co-accused were convicted of abusing their positions as police officers to track down, kidnap and assault the man who had wed Mdluli’s companion, Tshidi Buthelezi. The man, Oupa Ramogibe, was gunned down months later and no one was arrested for the murder.

“We’re dealing with two senior policemen who abrogated to themselves powers which police normally have but these powers were abused to such an extent that the effect was devastating,” said Johannesburg High Court judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng.

“In my view, the only appropriate sentence under the circumstances is a custodial sentence,” said Mokgoatlheng.

Mdluli had pleaded against a jail sentence saying he feared contracting coronavirus in prison but the judge turned it down.

He said the jail to which Mdluli was being sent was “an ordered prison facility where the exigencies of the COVID-19 pandemic are taken into account”.