/ 5 September 2023

Defence argues that photos were missing from the Senzo Meyiwa crime scene exhibits

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A police van patrols in front of the house where Senzo Meyiwa was murdered. (MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Defence advocate Zithulele Nxumalo argued in the Pretoria high court on Tuesday that the exhibits brought by forensic officer Sergeant Thabo Mosia do not fully reflect the crime scene where football player Senzo Meyiwa was murdered in 2014.

Mosia was called back to the stand on Tuesday after the defence said there were discrepancies in his testimony.

Nxumalo showed Mosia the photo album and asked him to confirm whether these were the pictures he had taken on 26 October 2014, the night Meyiwa was shot at the Vosloorus home of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo. 

“In your evidence, you told this court that when you arrived at the crime scene you took eight pictures. Can you confirm that it is only those photos that you took at the crime scene?” asked Nxumalo.

Mosia responded: “I explained that some photos would appear in the master copy and would have been unnecessary for the photo album. I arranged my photo album using the eight photos that I took at the crime scene, even though three or four of the photographs did not have good quality because my camera had a problem.”

Nxumalo then referred Mosia to the copy with more photographs of the crime scene that were not in the album submitted by the forensic officer to the court. Mosia confirmed that he had also taken those photographs.

Nxumalo focused on a photograph of the sitting room showing a Samsung S4 phone on the TV stand and asked Mosia what had happened to it.

“You were the first person who arrived on the scene, yet you are telling the court that you do not know where the phone went,” Nxumalo said.

Mosia responded: “The phone belonged to one of the people in the house and I did not see any reason to get it tested for touch DNA.” 

Nxumalo then read the evidence given by the first state witness, Zandile Khumalo, who told the court that one of the intruders assaulted her mother, Gladness Khumalo when she took the Samsung S4 from the TV stand and fled with it.

Nxumalo said: “I will further argue that there was no robbery in the house on 26 October 2014. And I will put it to you that your photos are not a true reflection of what occurred.”  

Mosia said he did not know what to say.

Nxumalo then questioned Mosia as to why he had not included all the images in the photo album.

“I don’t have a specific reason because the photos are arranged in accordance with my crime scene and also if the quality is not good then I will not include it, not any other reason,” Mosia said.

Mosia was shown another photograph showing blood on the floor between the sofa and the TV stand and asked whether he remembered when it was taken.

Mosia said he could not remember and “it is possible that it was a picture taken by myself even though it does not reflect so.”

Nxumalo asked Mosia if he had taken swabs from the glass that was on the TV stand.

Mosia said he had not because “I had already decided that I would work with the crime scene management as I needed their assistance.”

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.