A police analyst has told the Gauteng North High Court, Pretoria, that accused number three in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Mthobisi Mncube, sported dreadlocks just moments before the former goalkeeper was gunned down in Vosloorus.
Cellphone images which were downloaded by the police upon Mncube’s arrest on an unrelated firearm case, showed that he had dreadlocks a day before and on the day of Meyiwa’s murder.
Meyiwa was gunned down at her girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s Vosloorus home in a suspected robbery, on October 26, 2014.
The people who were in the house on the day Meyiwa was murdered, were Kelly Khumalo and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo (MaKhumalo), Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends, Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, Kelly’s then 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.
The five accused are Muzikawukhulelwa Sthemba Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Ncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli. They are accused one to five, in that order.
Colonel Lambertus Steyn, who is an analyst at the SAPS Cold Case Unit, told the court on Friday that police had arrested Mncube at the Cleveland Police Station under CAS 96/2/2015, for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
He said this arrest led to police submitting a firearm and Mncube’s cellphone, to SAP13, a process which allows the police to book the firearm and the device for further analysis.
Steyn said the investigating officer in CAS 96/2/2015 applied for a Section 205, which allows police to obtain cellphone records from a telecommunications service provider through a subpoena or court order and obtained it, but only accessed information up until November 1, 2014.
Steyn said the investigating officer in CAS 96/2/2015, was not aware there was a link to the Meyiwa murder case.
Steyn told the court that the Mncube’s cellphone was taken to a war room at the SAPS, and a Sergeant Mabasa, who the State has said they will be calling as a witness, downloaded the phone data and performed detailed analysis on the phone.
Steyn told the court that he had started working on the Meyiwa murder case in April 2020, when the investigating officer Brigadier Bongani Gininda handed him cellphone downloads and a Section 205.
Steyn told the court that Gininda had asked him if the pictures they downloaded from the phone showed the accused with dreadlocks.
Steyn told the court that they had discovered several pictures which showed Mncube sporting dreadlocks just a day before Meyiwa’s murder. In one of the pictures, he had apparently tied his dreadlocks in a ponytail.
He also told the court that they had found pictures a day before the murder, which showed that Mncube had been wearing the same beige coloured clothes, which he was alleged to have been wearing on the day of the murder.
The pictures, according to cellphone data, showed that the picture was taken at 11.51 am a day before Meyiwa was murdered.
Steyn said Mabasa would comment in detail about the dreadlocks of accused three, but he said pictures taken at 7.28 pm on the day Meyiwa was murdered, clearly showed him sporting dreadlocks.
The pictures were shown in court.
Meanwhile, the court also heard about the movement of Kelly Khumalo’s stolen cellphone. Steyn told the court that the cellphone was switched on after 9.52 pm on the day of the murder and it pinged on the 3G Moleleki WT cellphone tower.
The phone received an SMS and Steyn told the court the tower was in the vicinity of a nearby hostel.
He had not yet established the distance between the hostel and the Khumalo household.
The court heard that the cellphone received missed calls, while switched off, between 10.43 pm and 11.31 pm.
Steyn is expected to be cross-examined on Monday.