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More delays in Senzo Meyiwa trial as State failed to share statement with defence

Advocate George Baloyi during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Advocate George Baloyi during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 24, 2023


The State’s failure to share a witness statement of Lieutenant Colonel James Hadebe has forced a two hour adjournment and further delays in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.

Hadebe is being cross examined by defence advocates in the trial-within-a-trial which is determining if alleged confessions made by Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi were made freely and voluntarily.

Hadebe was questioned by advocate Charles Mnisi about whether he made a witness statement or affidavit after he underwent a pointing out of the scene with accused one, Sibiya.

Hadebe told the court he did make a statement, which stunned the defence advocates, as they had never had sight of the statement.

“It is unfortunate that the statement was never discovered to me,” Mnisi told the court.

Advocates Thulani Mngomezulu, Zithulele Nxumalo and Zandile Mshololo also confirmed they had not been handed the statement in discovery.

State advocate George Baloyi confirmed he was in possession of the statement dated June 18, 2020, and said it may have been left out by mistake.

By law, the State has to hand over all witness statements to the defence ahead of trial.

In the interest of conducting a fair trial, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng adjourned the matter for over two hours to allow the defence to be furnished with the statement and to prepare for their cross examination.

He said Mngomezulu, who had completed his cross examination, would be allowed to cross examine the witness again.

Earlier, under cross examination by Mngomezulu, Hadebe told the court he had been escorted by two vehicles from the Ekurhuleni Metro Police who kept a distance when they went to point out the scene with Sibiya at the Vosloorus hostel.

He denied SAPS Tactical Response (TRT) unit members had been present, after Mngomezulu said Sibiya was assaulted by them.

Mngomezulu said: “He was arrested on May 30, 2020. He was assaulted by the police outside the house in Tembisa.

“He was assaulted by the police in Lethabong and he was then taken to Vosloorus to a place he assumed to be a municipal area next to the municipality office.

“He was transported to Alberton. On the 30th he was assaulted in an office before Colonel (Mhlanganyelwa) Mbotho, who took his confession statement, got in,” adding he was assaulted and suffocated.

Sibiya's defence is that he was tortured in Mbotho’s office at the Diepkloof police station before he was presented with an already filled proforma confession and was encouraged to sign to stop the assault.

Hadebe said he had no knowledge of the alleged assault.

The trial resumes at 2pm.

IOL News