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The In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Di­rec­torate (Ipid) has owned up to los­ing a docket con­tain­ing de­tails of how a 21-year-old woman was killed when an of­fi­cial in the of­fice of then po­lice min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa col­lided with her ve­hi­cle.

Oler­ato Mon­gale was a stu­dent at CTI Ed­u­ca­tion Group’s pri­vate higher ed­u­ca­tion col­lege in Pre­to­ria.

For al­most four years, her fam­ily has re­mained in the dark about what hap­pened with the case.

“It’s like the driver ran over a dog. We just want to find clo­sure. This is af­fect­ing my re­la­tion­ship with my wife. Ev­ery time I try to talk about it, we end up fight­ing,” Mon­gale’s fa­ther, An­thony Weels, told City Press.

Mon­gale died at the in­ter­sec­tion of Wes­sels and Pre­to­rius streets near the Union Build­ings in Pre­to­ria on the morn­ing of Septem­ber 24 2013.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­ci­dent re­port in the pos­ses­sion of City Press, the sus­pect – Za­makuthula Vusumzi Zulu – was driv­ing a white Polo 1.9 Tdi on Pre­to­rius Street in a westerly di­rec­tion. The de­ceased was cross­ing the in­ter­sec­tion when Zulu’s Polo crashed into her ve­hi­cle.

The re­port also stated that the traf­fic lights at the in­ter­sec­tion were not work­ing. Mon­gale died at the scene.

Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) spokesper­son Lu­vuyo Mfaku said the orig­i­nal case docket was stolen from an Ipid in­ves­ti­ga­tor’s car. He said a new in­ves­ti­ga­tor was al­lo­cated to re­con­struct the case docket, which is to be pre­sented “to our of­fice to as­cer­tain what is still out­stand­ing, be­fore the end of next week”.

Ipid spokesper­son Moses Dlamini said: “The docket was stolen af­ter a break-in into the in­ves­ti­ga­tor’s car – that hap­pened early last year. Ac­cord­ing to the in­ves­ti­ga­tor, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was nearly com­plete when that hap­pened. A du­pli­cate docket was opened, how­ever, and there were a few out­stand­ing state­ments to be ob­tained this week.

“There­after, the case will be re­ferred to the NPA for a de­ci­sion on pros­e­cu­tion. The fam­ily should have been in­formed and we will in­ves­ti­gate to es­tab­lish if this was done. If not, we will find out why not. We will take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion where nec­es­sary,” Dlamini said.

Weels said that, as part of the fam­ily’s ef­forts to have the mat­ter fi­nalised, they asked Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane in Septem­ber to in­ter­vene.

This was af­ter Ipid in­formed the fam­ily that the mat­ter was with the NPA for a de­ci­sion on whether to pros­e­cute.

Weels said this in­for­ma­tion forced the fam­ily to ap­proach lawyers to ap­ply to the high court to have the docket, or at least the au­topsy re­port, re­leased.

“It’s been al­most four years and this mat­ter has not been to court. We can­not pro­ceed with a crim­i­nal or civil case against the state,” he said.

Weels’ brother, Nick Nt­lathi, who was the first to ar­rive on the scene af­ter re­spond­ing to a call from a distressed Weels – who was in Lim­popo at the time – still re­mem­bers see­ing his niece’s lifeless body.

“My lit­tle niece’s twisted and sprawled body was ly­ing on the hard sur­face of a tarred road, cov­ered in a shiny, foil-like sheet.

“She suf­fered mul­ti­ple in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal in­juries, plus her tiny body’s bones were crushed in many places.”

“I pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied her to the cops and told my brother the sad news. I re­alised that the ro­bot had not been work­ing and [the in­ter­sec­tion] should have been treated as a four-way stop by the driver of the ve­hi­cle [Polo]. He failed dis­mally as he is said to have been speed­ing.”

Nt­lathi also said the fam­ily had since learnt that Zulu worked for the po­lice, and that he was later sent for ad­vanced driv­ing lessons and coun­selling, but was not pros­e­cuted.

Zulu, who is from Esig­cal­abeni in Nkandla, con­firmed that he was the driver of the un­marked po­lice ve­hi­cle that was in­volved in the col­li­sion.

He said he was still work­ing as a clerk and mes­sen­ger in the po­lice depart­ment and was not sus­pended over the in­ci­dent.

Zulu said he was also in the dark about what hap­pened to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter a state­ment was taken from him by po­lice and af­ter an in­ter­nal probe found that he was driv­ing at un­der 50km/h.

Zulu said he had thought of go­ing to Mon­gale’s funeral to pay his re­spects, but a col­league had ad­vised him against it.

“It hurt me a lot. An in­no­cent soul was lost. I also have a girl child and I can imag­ine how the par­ents feel,” he said.

Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor spokesper­son Oupa Se­galwe con­firmed that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion had be­gun in Septem­ber and was on­go­ing. The of­fice was keep­ing in touch with the fam­ily.

“While the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still on­go­ing, the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor is do­ing all that is hu­manly pos­si­ble to con­clude the mat­ter ex­pe­di­tiously while en­sur­ing that her probe is thor­ough,” Se­galwe said.

Why do you think it is tak­ing so long to con­clude this in­ves­ti­ga­tion?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word DRIVER. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50

TRAGIC DEATH Oler­ato Mon­gale

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