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Richard Mdluli has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The former Crime Intelligence boss and his co-accused, Mthembeni Mthunzi, were found guilty on charges of kidnapping, assault and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in July 2019.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng handed down the sentence in the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday. Following the sentence, the lawyers for both the accused submitted an appeal, but it was denied immediately.

The charges relate to the time when Mdluli was the commander of the Vosloorus police station.

Daily Maverick reports that Mdluli and Mthunzi were found to have abused their positions as police officers in 1998 to track down, kidnap and assault Oupa Ramogibe.

Mdluli's wife under customary law, Tshidi Buthelezi, was having an alleged relationship with, and had married, Ramogibe.

Mdluli and Mthunzi tracked down the couple in Orange Farm. They then kidnapped and assaulted Ramogibe.

The accused were charged in 2011, but the National Prosecuting Authority soon withdrew the charges. Mdluli was head of Crime Intelligence back then.

Civil society groups got the charges reinstated and went ahead with the proceedings.

Judge Mokgoatlheng said the two senior police officers abused their powers and knew exactly what they were doing.

Both Mdluli and Mthunzi asked the judge not to go to prison as they would be unable to provide an income for their families while serving their time. The judge found that the monthly pension money both former police officers receive from the South African Police Service, should be sufficient for both families to survive.

The accused also argued that they are too old for prison and are scared of contracting COVID-19. The judge dismissed it.

Mdluli is set to appear back in court in November on charges of corruption and theft relating to the Crime Intelligence Unit's savings account.

Watch the SABC News video below for more information on the sentencing of Richard Mdluli and Mthembeni Mthunzi.

Image credits: IOL and Savanna News

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