Dispute over money donated to assist Senzo Meyiwa murder accused

The five men accused of murdering footballer Senzo Meyiwa chat at the Gauteng North High Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena /Independent Newspapers

The five men accused of murdering footballer Senzo Meyiwa chat at the Gauteng North High Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena /Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 20, 2024


Families of some of the five men accused of killing former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, have accused a distant relative of one of the accused of using the televised murder trial to get money from the public in a guise of donations for the accused.

Sinqobile Maphisa and Nompumelelo Ntanzi, who are siblings of the two accused, Bongani Ntanzi, and Mthokoziseni Maphisa, recently went on the SA infotainment podcast and revealed how a distant relative allegedly swindled members of the public of their while pretending to help the accused.

Sinqobile, who has been very vocal regarding the innocence of the five accused, especially his brother, said she opened a WhatsApp group to raise funds that would assist in paying legal fees and also help the accused in other things they might need.

She explained that a distant relative, Makhosazane Radebe-Zwane, approached her via Facebook last November and told her that she was unable to reach Mthokoziseni on his phone.

“I told her that police had confiscated his phone but I promised to pass on the message to Mthokoziseni when he calls me... I think this lady thought I was using this case for fame... because she wanted my spotlight, everything that I do, she also does it and she does it the wrong way,” she said.

She said she added Makhosazane on the WhatsApp group she had created because she initially thought she wanted to help.

“With the help of the group, we managed to pay two advocates who were not paid by legal aid. One of the advocates even stopped taking money from us because he was now on the legal aid payroll.”

She said Makhosazane went behind her back and went to visit Ntanzi in prison without notifying her.

“You can’t visit Bongani without notifying me, even her sister Mpumi notifies me, I’m responsible for Bongani’s bookings... When she got there, she was not to see Bongani... In fact, all accused don’t just see you without checking with me, they will call me and ask me if I know that person because their safety is in my hands.

“Bongani is even worse, he first checks you from a distance and when he doesn’t know you, he will not entertain you,” she said.

She said despite being turned back the first time, Makhosazane went back to prison and asked to see Ntanzi during her visit to accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli.

That time, she said Ntanzi agreed to see Makhosazane because he recognised her from court.

She left him with two packets of two packets of biscuits.

“After that, she went spreading lies that she found Bongani hungry... If Bongani was hungry, he would have told me because I’m the one who sends him money for food and toiletries,” said Sinqobile.

Moreover, she said she received a call from someone who wanted to remain anonymous informing her that Bongani was not safe and should stop eating prison food.

“Bongani also called me and told me he was not safe and has stopped eating. I recorded my conversation with Bongani and sent it to my WhatsApp group. I don’t know who it was, but someone from my group sent the recording to Makhosazane’s group...She then used the information as if it was hers... She’s making a business out of this case,” said Sinqobile.

She further alleged that Makhosazane joined other groups that were already formed to raise funds for families where the accused were breadwinners and she took funds and hampers meant for the families.

IOL spoke to the Department of Correctional Services spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, to verify whether Ntanzi has stopped eating prison food.

Nxumalo said he was not aware of Ntanzi’s situation but confirmed that food in prison was safe for consumption.

“Food in correctional centres is inspected. This is to ensure that it is safe to be consumed.”

Nxumalo said for those who don’t want to eat prison food, they are allowed to buy from the Kiosk or get food from their families.

“Inmates are allowed to receive parcels from families, should it be food, it has to be inspected, just like other items. This is to prevent contraband being smuggled,” he said.

Meanwhile, the murder trial has been adjourned after going through a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of Ntanzi’s and and Muzikawkhulelwa Sibiya confession statement.

The two accused claim they were severely assaulted and forced to confess to the murder of the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper.

The matter has been postponed to March 4 for closing arguments.

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