/ 1 November 2023

Meyiwa murder: Defence alleges accused was assaulted until he ‘messed himself’

(Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Defence advocate Thulani Mngomezulu told the Pretoria high court on Wednesday that the reason Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, accused number one in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, was taken by Constable Jabulani Buthelezi to change his clothes was because he was assaulted and tortured until he “messed” himself.

Buthelezi, who is an officer with the Ekurhuleni metro police special weapons and tactics unit, had taken the stand on Monday and gave details about how he had arrested Sibiya.

Buthelezi told the court that he received a call from Sergeant Batho Mogola requesting help with the arrest.

“I was with Constable Sadiki. We met Sergeant Mogola at Tembisa police station car park and she showed us the warrant of arrest,” he said.

Buthelezi said a description of what Sibiya was wearing was given, as was that of the house where the suspect was staying. 

On Wednesday, during cross-examination, Mngomezulu said: “My instruction is that there were about five people who were in civilian clothes and more or less eight police officers in uniform at Lethabong. After he was assaulted at Lethabong he messed himself up and that is why you took him home to change his clothes.” 

Buthelezi replied: “Like I said, when we arrested him he was wearing Brentwood pants. He was complaining that we had made him lie down on the ground wearing them. He also did not want to be arrested in those trousers and I was not going to deny him that when he was asking politely.”

He told the court that he used a “tactical takedown” or use of authoritative words on Sibiya to confuse him. 

“We then requested that he should lie down. He did not show resistance,” Buthelezi said.

Mngomezulu asked if a tactical takedown was intended to instil fear in the accused. 

“It depends on the person,” responded Buthelezi, adding that he had also handcuffed Sibiya and helped him to his feet. 

“It is my instructions that Sibiya was handcuffed, lying face down, and he was lifted and pulled up with the handcuffs,” Mngomezulu said.

Buthelezi denied this, saying: “Those are lies. He would have been injured. We helped him get up by his belt.”

Mngomezulu said Buthelezi went beyond the scope of his work by arresting Sibiya.

“When you arrested him, was that an escort?” Mngomezulu asked.

“That had nothing to do with the escort. I was assisting,” Buthelezi replied. 

Sibiya is among the five men accused of  the 2014 murder of the Bafana Bafana captain at the home of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus, Gauteng. 

All of the accused have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition.