/ 7 September 2022

Senzo Meyiwa trial: Crime scene was not handled properly, state witness says

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A state witness in the murder trial of Senzo Meyiwa told the Pretoria high court on Wednesday that he had been brutally assaulted for hours, and that two police officers were involved.

A worn-out-looking Sergeant Thabo Mosia, a forensic officer and the state’s first witness in the Senzo Meyiwa trial, concluded his lengthy stay in the witness stand by again conceding that the crime scene was “compromised” and “not handled properly”. 

On Wednesday at the Pretoria high court Mosia, who began testifying in April, said the information detailed in his second statement — which was deposed in June 2019 and is found in a second docket opened in January of that year — that the integrity of the scene of Meyiwa’s murder was questionable. 

“All delays in reporting the matter to relevant people might have compromised the crime scene,” reads part of Mosia’s affidavit, as read out in court by advocate Zandile Mshololo. 

Mosia, when questioned by Mshololo about his June 2019 statement, conceded under cross examination that four hours had lapsed from the time of Meyiwa’s fatal shooting to when Mosia was called as the forensic field officer to begin his evidence collection at the scene. 

Meyiwa was killed in October 2014 at the Vosloorus, Gauteng, family home of his then-girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo, in what the state alleges was a botched robbery.

Mshololo is the legal representative of the fifth accused, Fisokuhle Ntuli. 

The other four accused — Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Ncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa — are represented by TT Thobane. 

Mosia also conceded to Thobane that the hat found on the crime-scene kitchen floor, and which the state believes belonged to one of the accused in the trial, was taken by Mosia when he left the scene to attend two other cases on the night of Meyiwa’s murder.  

“The mistake I made was to not take a picture when I put the hat in the envelope,” Mosia conceded. 

But Thobane said Mosia was altering his evidence as he went along in order “to close loopholes” in his testimony because, Thobane added, Mosia had not mentioned this when he first testified. 

“I must put it to you that you are evasive, and if I was the state, I will charge you with perjury and defeating the ends of justice,” Thobane asserted.

Under re-examination from state advocate George Baloyi, Mosia, who was asked how police classified crime scenes that involved a prominent person, responded to a different question, telling the prosecutor that he had doubts on how the scene was managed before Mosia arrived. 

“The crime scene was not handled properly in relation to the time I calculated [time lapse before Mosia got the call] and that brought questions to my mind,” Mosia said. 

The officer was visibly drained when Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela excused him from the witness stand, with the judge wishing the forensic officer well. 

The trial will resume on Thursday, and all accused are remanded in custody.