Senzo Meyiwa trial: Defence claims senior cops staged crime scene

Despite objections and a formal legal application against his “irrelevant” cross-examination questions, defence advocate Dan Teffo continued his charge on state witness sergeant Thabo Mosia, saying the Senzo Meyiwa crime scene was “staged”. 

Teffo, who asserted that he had conducted his own investigation into Meyiwa’s murder, alleged that there were no survivors at the crime scene when Mosia arrived after midnight to conduct his probe. 

The defence advocate also alleged that all five of the surviving adults, including singer Kelly Khulamo’s two children, slept at the house of renowned music producer, Sello “Chicco” Thwala, whose son, Longwe Thwala, was in the house where Meyiwa was shot. 

Teffo represents Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Ncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa in the case; Fisokuhle Ntuli, the fifth accused, is represented by advocate Zandile Mshololo.

They face charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition, all of which they have pleaded not guilty to. 

Before Teffo could ask his first question at the Pretoria high court on Thursday, advocate George Baloyi, the prosecutor, rose to launch an application against what he said were questions from Teffo that would not “assist the court in its eventual decision on credibility”. 

Baloyi had taken issue with Teffo, on Tuesday, asking about ballistic and DNA results from Mosia, the police’s forensic field worker, who collected the physical evidence at the crime scene at Khumalo’s Vosloorus, Gauteng, family home. Meyiwa was Khumalo’s lover at the time of his October 2014 murder.

Baloyi said Mosia was testifying as a forensic field worker, and that the state would be calling ballistics and DNA experts who would be best placed to answer Teffo’s questions. 

“We respectfully submit that there is a danger inherent in allowing such cross-examination, in that such speculative evidence will be elevated by the defence … and seek to show discrepancy with the ballistic expert, or be used to confront other witnesses with such evidence, when such evidence should not have been allowed to start with,” Baloyi said, reading from his prepared heads of argument. 

Baloyi was concerned with an important concession made on Tuesday by Mosia that the murder weapon, which the state alleges was found on Ncube, accused number three, and was a 9mm Parabellum, could have been a revolver due to there no being any cartridge cases found at the scene. 

Revolvers, Mosia acknowledged, do not expel cartridge cases, or the rear part of a bullet. 

But Teffo dismissed Baloyi’s objection application, saying, if need be, he would request Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela to adjourn proceedings so that Baloyi could draft the questions he wanted asked. The sarcasm in Teffo’s tone was evident. 

Maumela gave Teffo and Mshololo an opportunity to draft and file their own heads of argument to Baloyi’s application, before the judge could make a ruling. 

When his cross-examination resumed, Teffo spent much of it putting it to Mosia that the Meyiwa crime scene was staged, and that brigadier Philani Ndlovu, Gauteng’s former top detective who called Mosia to Vosloorus at 11.45pm on the night of the killing, remained at the scene to “manage” Mosia. 

Teffo further alleged that Mosia did not take pictures of the bedroom in which, he said, he had confined the survivors, because there were no survivors at the house, given they all allegedly slept at Thwala’s home. 

Teffo claimed that a conspiratorial meeting — involving Ndlovu, former Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya and former Gauteng head of safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane — was held hours before Mosia’s arrival to plan the alleged contamination of the scene. 

“Ndlovu was not there, he was just feeding you with wrong information,” Teffo alleged. 

Mosia denied that the scene was tampered with, and said the survivors were in the house with him while he was doing his forensic work. 

The trial was due to resume after lunch on Thursday.

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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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