On Tuesday morning the court appearance of the five suspects — who allegedly took part in the killing of former Bafana Bafana captain, Senzo Meyiwa — took a dramatic turn after the group denied any involvement in the murder case.
The proceedings, which took place at the Boksburg magistrate’s court, were also rocked by revelations that superstar singer Kelly Khumalo’s cellphone records are sought by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to connect her to the suspects.
The five suspects — Muzikawulahlelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokozisi Maphisa and Sifokuhle Nkani Ntuli Sifiso — at first refused to step into the dock, claiming that they do not know why they were arrested.
Accused number four, Mthokosizi Maphisa said that the people who are supposed to be in court are not there because they have money.
Maphisa also accused the police of lying about the suspects being arrested yesterday as some of them were charged in August. It is not clear what they were charged for at that time.
In the Meyiwa case, the group is charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
These developments come after police minister Bheki Cele on Monday assured the public that the police have a “water-tight” case.
According to the police, the suspects were arrested yesterday in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
None of the suspects had lawyers.
During the back and forth, magistrate Hans Havenga said he is not going to deal with the merits of the case and the accused can tell their version when the case goes to trial. Havanga postponed the case to 27 November. All the suspects will be held in custody.
While the proceedings were taking place, the NPA, “mistakenly” released a charge sheet with further explosive details.
The charge sheet questioned why “the EMPD officials were used to transport the suspects for a confession” instead of South African Police Service members.
It further stated that cellphone records of Khumalo, showing her communication with the accused, must be obtained.
Although NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said the document was released by mistake, he did not deny its veracity.
Meyiwa was shot dead on this day in October 2014, while he was at a party at the home of his then-girlfriend, Khumalo, in Vosloorus at the East Rand.
In addition to this unexpected turn of events, Afriforum’s head of private prosecutions, advocate Gerrie Nel, said on Monday at a media briefing that none of the suspects was the mastermind of the killing of Meyiwa.
Nel, sitting next to Meyiwa’s brother, Sifiso, said they believe they know who was behind the murder.
“We have been briefed to say this was not a robbery gone wrong. This was an assassination. So the one outstanding aspect here, and we are disappointed it hasn’t happened yet, is to address the mastermind — because if there’s a hit, there’s a mastermind,” said Nel.
Afriforum claims that this was a hit on Meyiwa, while police claim that what transpired at the house was a robbery and that a Samsung S4 was taken.
Outside the court, Nel maintained his stance that it was an assassination, but he was very “concerned” about what took place in court.
He said that Afriforum must ensure that the apparent contradictions in the investigations of the police and the NPA do not prejudice the case.