/ 30 January 2024

Meyiwa trial: Defence says confession made by the accused was rushed

Defence advocate Zandile Mshololo

Defence advocate Zandile Mshololo argued during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial on Tuesday that accused number one Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya’s confession was not given freely or voluntarily and was rushed because it was taken at night.

While cross-examining the lead investigator in the murder case, Brigadier Bongani Gininda, Mshololo questioned why taking the confession, which was done on 30 May 2020, could not have waited until the following day.

“Before the statement was taken, it would have come to your attention [that] he wanted to make it. If he indicated he wanted to freely make a statement, why was it taken at night, at 21:45, [when] the accused was supposed to be sleeping?” Mshololo asked.

Gininda responded: “Where is it regulated when the statement should be taken? I’m not aware of a law that says it can only be taken in the morning. It was Saturday; I met him around 7pm. I do not know the sleeping pattern of the accused.”

Before starting her cross-examination, Mshololo requested an adjournment to go through the written transcript of Sibiya’s appearances in the Boksburg magistrate’s court. He made his first appearance in October 2020.  

Last Friday, the court listened to a recording in which accused number two, Bongani Ntanzi, reportedly complained about his then-lawyer, Ntokozo Mjiyakho, who allegedly wanted him to confess to the footballer’s murder. The court sitting was then postponed to Tuesday, because of the poor quality of the audio.

Sibiya and Ntanzi are among the five men accused of killing Meyiwa at the family home of his lover, singer Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus in October 2014. The other three are Mthobisi Ncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli. 

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

The Pretoria high court is holding a “trial within a trial”, in which the defence is challenging the admissibility of the confessions allegedly made by Ntanzi and Sibiya, after they were arrested in 2020.