Two accused in Senzo Meyiwa murder trial ‘to confess’

On the first day of the trial of the murder of footballer Senzo Meyiwa, advocate Dan Teffo let slip that two of his clients would confess to killing of the sports star.

At the same time Zandile Mshololo, lawyer for the fifth accused, Fisokuhle Ntuli, asked for a day’s postponement and accused the state of using a “trial by ambush” strategy by disclosing witness statements only two weeks before the start of the trial. 

Ntuli, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, are charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, possession of firearms without a licence and the possession of ammunition.

Meyiwa was the former goalkeeper and captain of football club Orlando Pirates, as well as Bafana Bafana, was murdered in October 2014. 

Teffo said in court that Sibiya and Ntanzi had “confessed” to killing Meyiwa, before Judge Tshifiwa Maumela shut him down and said the court was not ready for that testimony yet. 

Mshololo asked for a postponement until Tuesday.

The accused were arrested in October 2020, six years after Meyiwa was shot dead inside the family home of his girlfriend, award-winning singer Kelly Khumalo, on a warm Sunday evening in the Ekurhuleni township of Vosloorus in Gauteng. 

On Monday, Mshololo said that, along with receiving witness statements “at the 11th hour”, she had problems consulting her client Ntuli because he was detained at a facility in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal, a fair distance from her chambers in Durban. 

“As a result, I have not been able to consult with my client on this crucial evidence [witness statements] that was disclosed two weeks back,” Mshololo said.

“My lord, it is my further submission that the conduct by the state of withholding the statements violated the accused’s constitutional right to be given particulars and further particulars to prepare for the case.

“In another way, accused number five has just been ambushed by the state to reveal evidence at the 11th hour. That conduct of the state has violated the accused’s right to a fair trial,” she added.

Prosecutor George Baloyi did not oppose the postponement application, but said he had to withhold the statements for safety reasons until his witnesses were placed in protection. 

Baloyi said the witnesses had said they were still receiving death threats as recently as last week. 

“So fearful are those witnesses that we had to delete their names and addresses when disclosing these statements,” he said.

Although Teffo agreed with Mshololo that the state was to blame for the delays, he said he was “vehemently opposed to the postponement of the trial”. 

“Accused one to four are also experiencing the same thing of statements arriving late,” Teffo said, before saying that two of his clients would confess.

Maumela said it would be in the interest of a fair trial to postpone its start to Tuesday so that Mshololo could consult her client. 

Lobby group Afriforum, through advocate Gerrie Roux, who was in court on Monday alongside the organisation’s chief executive, Kallie Kriel, have a watching brief on behalf of Ntombifuthi Meyiwa, Meyiwa’s mother, as well Zama and Nomalanga Meyiwa, the slain sports star’s sisters.

Magdalene Moonsamy, the Economic Freedom Fighters’ former national treasurer and an attorney, was also in court, and said she had a watching brief for Khumalo. 

All the accused will return to court on Tuesday.

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Khaya Koko
Khaya Koko is a journalist with a penchant for reading through legal documents braving the ravages of cold court benches to expose the crooked. He writes about social justice and human-interest stories. Most importantly, he is a card-carrying member of the Mighty Orlando Pirates.

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