/ 4 September 2023

Gun that may have killed Senzo Meyiwa was stolen during a cash-in-transit heist

Crime Scene Shooting
Unless our failing policing institution is resuscitated, people’s mindsets will permanently shift to protecting oneself and loved ones.

A legislative manager at SBV Services told the Pretoria high court that the gun believed to have killed football player Senzo Meyiwa in 2014 had been stolen in a cash-in-transit heist in May 2013 at a shopping centre in Rabie Ridge, north of Johannesburg.

State witness Pieter Jacobus Smuts, who deals with firearm compliance at SBV, a company which deals with moving, processing and storing cash and items of high value, took the stand on Monday. He said his duties include ensuring his company reports stolen firearms within 24 hours, completing documentation of the stolen firearm and circulating it on the police database.

Smuts said the firearm confiscated in 2015 from accused number three in Meyiwa’s murder, Mthobisi Mncube, belonged to SBV.

“I can confirm and testify that this firearm is a CZ 75 9mm parabellum pistol. This proves that this firearm belongs to the company — the true licence of the firearm issued by the SAPS [South African Police Service],” Smuts said.

“This specific firearm was stolen during a cash-in-transit robbery in 2013 and was reported to the police. What happened in this incident was that the firearms were removed from the SBV employees so that they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves.”

He said after the robbery the firearm was reported stolen to the police and it was circulated as stolen.

Last Friday, ballistic expert Warrant officer Cornelius Roelofse confirmed from the witness stand that the 9mm parabellum previously brought into court by Lieutenant Colonel Christian Mangena was the same gun he investigated and tested in an Alexandra taxi murder case.

Roelofse dismissed the evidence previously given by Tumelo Madlala, who testified that the intruders had “a gun with a wheel” — a revolver. 

Roelofse explained that the bullet found at the house in Vosloorus, Gauteng —  where Meyiwa was shot in what the state says was a botched robbery —  had a thicker cartridge case and would not fit into a revolver. 

Another state witness to take the stand on Monday was Lionel Robert Zwane, a sangoma, detailed how he was visited by “three gentlemen” asking him for help before going on “a job”.

State prosecutor George Baloyi asked Zwane if he remembered who those men were. Zwane said one of them was called Sibiya. Baloyi asked if he could see Sibiya in court, but Zwane said he could not remember.

“I help people with herbs and on the first occasion, Sibiya asked for herbs and I gave him the ones called ‘inhlanhla emhlophe’ [white luck],” Zwane said.

He said Sibiya returned after two or three days and asked to be cleansed because someone had been injured during his last “job”.

Zwane also told the court that he was later visited by the police, who told him that men who had been arrested for murder had claimed to have been assisted by him.

“I told the policewoman who came to my house that I do not assist people to commit crimes, I help with herbs,” Zwane said.

Presiding Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng told the defence that Zwane would not be cross-examined.

Baloyi told the court that an earlier witness, Sergeant Thabo Mosia, a forensic officer who went to collect evidence from the scene of Meyiwa’s fatal shooting, would be called back to the stand on Tuesday. This is after the defence said there were discrepancies in his testimony.

The five people on trial have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition.