/ 4 August 2023

Mthokozisi Thwala tells court Kelly Khumalo refused to hand over Meyiwa’s ID

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Senzo Meyiwa. (Getty Images)

The sixth state witness in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Mthokozisi Thwala, told the Pretoria high court on Friday that the football star’s girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, refused to give him Meyiwa’s identity document (ID).

Last week, cell phone data analyst Lambertus Steyn told the court that a SIM swap could only be done using the owner of the phone’s ID.

During his cross-examination by defence advocate Zandile Mshololo, Thwala said Khumalo refused to give him the ID a day after Meyiwa was killed in what the state believes was a botched robbery at the Khumalo house in Vosloorus, Gauteng, in 2014.

“Just as I said that I went to Mulbarton to get the ID from her and she refused to give and said she will only give [it to] Senzo’s brother and father. When the brother arrived the following day on Tuesday, I took him to fetch it,” he said.

Thwala said Khumalo continued refusing to hand over the ID.

“On Tuesday, she firstly refused with his clothes, ID and other things to Senzo’s brother. Eventually she handed it over in the presence of the police and other people I cannot mention,” Thwala said.

Mshololo asked Thwala if he knew about the SIM swap that was performed on Meyiwa’s cell phone. 

Colonel [Lambertus] Steyn testified that the only person who could have been able to do a SIM swap on the deceased’s cell phone was the person who had the deceased’s ID,” Mshololo said.

Thwala said he did not know about that and it scared him that this had happened when Meyiwa had died.

“But is it your evidence that the ID of the deceased was with Kelly Khumlao until Tuesday after the incident?” Mshololo asked.

“Yes, because I saw it on Monday and as well as on Tuesday, when she handed it over [to the police],” Thwala replied.

Steyn had previously told the court that a day after Meyiwa’s death, eight calls were made from the new number on Khumalo’s cell phone.

His investigation linked Meyiwa’s SIM number, now on Khumalo’s phone, to a cell phone belonging to David Mathebula, who was a Kaizer Chiefs football player.

Mshololo asked Thwala to describe the nature of Meyiwa and Khumalo’s relationship at the time of the shooting.

“To me it is going to be difficult to explain that, because I am going to say it in a different light, that you already know. Let me just say they loved each other, they were in a relationship, let me just end it there,” said Thwala.

The murder trial started again from scratch on 17 July 2023 with a new judge, Ratha Mokgoatlheng, who replaced Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela after he was suspended for misconduct for failing to deliver judgments within a reasonable period.

The five people on trial — Mthobisi Ncube, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthokozisi Maphisa, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Fisokuhle Ntuli — have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition.