Pretoria – The trial of five men arrested in connection with the 2014 murder of Bafana Bafana ace goalkeeper Senzo Robert Meyiwa has resumed in the High Court in Pretoria.
On Monday, the trial was characterised by bitter exchanges between advocate Malesela Teffo and Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela.
The court was ready to get feedback from advocate Zandile Mshololo on the second docket opened by police on the Meyiwa murder case, which she received last week.
Mshololo, upon receiving the docket, asked the court for an adjournment to go through the docket. Mshololo represents one accused, while Teffo represents the four other accused.
However, on Monday, Teffo wanted to make his submissions first and recap the whole saga of the second docket, a request which was denied by the presiding judge.
“I need to be heard, please,” Teffo told Maumela.
Maumela denied Teffo the chance to speak, saying Mshololo had to make her presentations first.
“The problem that I have is that, when advocate Teffo thinks it's time for him to speak, things must happen. The other day, I had to warn you when you demanded things to happen.
“I’m saying now, as the presiding officer in this case, it is time to give advocate Mshololo the opportunity to proceed with what she started in your absence. She is not done,” Maumela said.
Despite Maumela’s refusal, Teffo did not want to stop with his request and argued that he should be given an opportunity to speak.
“I made a ruling, advocate Teffo, that we are not going to debate about what you want to talk about,” Maumela said, raising his voice.
After lunch, the exchanges continued, Teffo wanted to respond to Mshololo's submission, but Judge Maumela told him its advocate George Baloyi's time to speak.
“You just jump up,” Maumela said to Teffo.
Teffo responded to Maumela by saying he is beginning to realise that he and Maumela “come from a different school of law, that's why we clash”.
The trial was rolled over to today in order to determine a way forward regarding the jurisdiction of the case and a consultation of the court’s roll planner.
This came after Teffo said he felt the court was doing everything in its powers to mute him during his attempts to make submissions in defence of his clients.
Teffo informed the court he was vehemently opposed to the matter being postponed to the later date of September and November this year, and January next year, as suggested by the court roll planner.
He said the reason behind his refusal was due to the fact that the accused felt as though “justice delayed is justice denied. I am of the strong conviction that the rights of my clients are deliberately violated by the court I expect to be impartial.”
Teffo informed the court that he had been instructed by the accused to apply for the presiding judge to be recused as they felt justice would be denied to them.
“For me to make a submission on behalf of my clients, you are saying to me, sit down like I am a naughty boy. I may be a naughty boy, but I deserve respect from this court as it would expect the same from me.”
He subsequently informed the court that they were against the postponement as they realised there was a material defect that did not give the court the jurisdiction to hear and grant the application brought by Mshololo.
Teffo insisted that the jurisdiction of the matter was under the South Gauteng division, and he was of the view that the procedure in terms of the rights given to the minister of justice to give jurisdiction had been grossly violated.
The request for a longer postponement came after Mshololo requested time to go through the second docket in the matter, which she was only alerted to last week.
Meyiwa was gunned down in October 2014, at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s home in Spruitview, Vosloorus. Five men are standing trial for his murder.