/ 19 May 2023

Senzo Meyiwa trial: ‘I cannot identify gun-holding intruder,’ Zandi Khumalo testifies

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Zandile Khumalo, who was present with her sister, singer Kelly Khumalo, in the house when Senzo Meyiwa died, testified on Friday that she could not identify the accused who allegedly shot the footballer. 

Khumalo was on the stand for the second day at the Pretoria high court. Meyiwa was gunned down in October 2014. Kelly Khumalo was Meyiwa’s lover at the time of his death. 

Zandile Khumalo is the fifth witness called by state prosecutor George Baloyi, who alleges that Meyiwa was killed during a botched armed robbery. 

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Ncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli are on trial for the footballer’s murder. All five face charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition, to which they have pleaded not guilty. 

On Friday, the state showed a picture of the Khumalo kitchen floor, featuring a chequered hat which Zandile Khumalo said belonged to the alleged gun-toting first intruder. 

Asked by Baloyi how she knew the suspect with dreadlocks wore the hat on the kitchen floor, Khumalo said: “When they [alleged intruders] were demanding money and phones, I lifted my eyes and saw his face, and realised he was wearing the hat.” 

The prosecutor then asked whether Zandile could see the person who wore the hat present in the courtroom on Friday, to which she responded: “The first suspect with the dreadlocks, I cannot see him in court today.”

She also testified that Kelly Khumalo’s Samsung S4 smartphone, which was charging in the living room, was stolen by the same deadlocked “intruder”. 

“The intruder was next to mother [at] the couch. There was a phone charging on the armrest or the TV stand. My mother took the phone, and the intruder hit her with the elbow in her abdomen, and she fell on the first seat of that couch,” Zandile Khumalo testified. 

She also said there was a physical fight between Mandisa Mkhize, the wife of Meyiwa, and her sister Kelly, Meyiwa’s lover. 

Khumalo testified that Mkhize had arrived at Botshelong Hospital, where Meyiwa was pronounced dead, with other footballers who were the deceased’s friends. Some of the players had arrived at the hospital with their female partners, Khumalo added.

“Mandisa arrived. I don’t know if she was the wife, but I know she was Senzo’s partner. It was Mandisa with her friends, and they went to Kelly and assaulted Kelly. As she was fighting Kelly, Mandisa was saying, ‘You have killed him’.

“We went to them to try to separate them,” Zandile Khumalo testified. 

The trial was postponed to 12 to 15 June, because some defence lawyers were not available during the week beginning 22 May. 

All accused remain in custody.