Dan Teffo: NPA wanted to charge Kelly Khumalo for Meyiwa’s murder

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had a charge sheet that included singer Kelly Khumalo and Longwe Twala, son of record producer Sello “Chicco” Twala, being prosecuted for the murder of footballer Senzo Meyiwa in October 2014. 

This was said on Tuesday in the Pretoria high court by defence advocate Dan Teffo, who added that the NPA’s Gauteng head, advocate Andrew Chauke, went back on his initial 2019 decision to charge Khumalo, Twala and other adults who were “accomplices” in “unlawfully and intentionally killing Senzo Meyiwa”.

Teffo said a second case docket, which was opened in 2019 and had Colonel Joyce Buthelezi from the police’s national headquarters in Tshwane as the investigating officer, showed that the people in Khumalo family home had “hatched a plan to conceal the murder”.

Teffo added that his clients — Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Ncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa — were being made “scapegoats” by the NPA. The fifth accused in the matter, Fisokuhle Ntuli, is represented by advocate Zandile Mshololo.

The five 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. 

Meyiwa was killed at the Vosloorus, Gauteng, family home of his lover, Kelly Khumalo, in what the state alleges was a robbery gone wrong.

Teffo produced an NPA charge sheet showing that Chauke had recommended that Khumalo, her mother Gladness Khumalo, sister Zandi Khumalo, Meyiwa’s friends Tumelo Madlala and Twala, and neighbour Maggie Phiri be charged for murder and defeating the ends of justice. 

Teffo, who was cross-examining Sergeant Thabo Mosia, the prosecution’s first witness, said the state’s theory that two African men entered the Khumalo family home with the intention to rob, whereafter Meyiwa was shot and killed, was “nonsensical”. 

Teffo called on Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela to acquit his clients and force the NPA to continue charging the people Teffo said were the real suspects in Meyiwa’s murder. 

Mosia, who listened attentively to Teffo’s assertions, said he had no comment on the second docket or whether the NPA should prosecute Kelly Khumalo, her family and their friends. 

Teffo said he would call a witness to testify that, while Meyiwa was lying dead on the floor, the people in the house cleaned it and staged a botched house robbery. 

The defence advocate added that his witness will testify that, once the crime scene was staged, they put Meyiwa’s body in his BMW X6 and Kelly Khumalo drove the car to nearby Botshelong Private Hospital on the pretence of trying to save Meyiwa’s life. 

“That conduct by these people in this house, in particular the driver of Meyiwa’s car … This conduct amounts to defeating the ends of justice, and concealing the death,” Teffo said. 

Mosia again said he had no comment. 

Mosia conceded again that the murder weapon could have been a revolver, and not a 9mm Parabellum as the state alleges, because no cartridge cases were found at the crime scene.    

Mosia’s concession followed Teffo saying he would call a witness to testify about the gun that killed Meyiwa, adding: “Senzo Robert Meyiwa was shot with the firearm, which was purported to be a revolver, not a 9mm Parabellum. What do you say?”

Mosia responded: “It might happen that the firearm used was a revolver. Or it can happen that … the perpetrators could have picked up the cartridge cases.”

Mosia will remain on the stand when the trial resumes on Wednesday, with Mshololo expected to begin her cross examination of him. 

All the accused remain in custody.

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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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