Second docket does ‘irreparable damage’ to Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, says advocate Mshololo

Advocate Zandile Mshololo speaking to the men accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa. File Picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye

Advocate Zandile Mshololo speaking to the men accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa. File Picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye

Published Sep 5, 2022


Pretoria – Counsel for Sifisokuhle Ntuli, the fifth accused in the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, has argued that the presence of the second docket, implicating other accused people, makes the ongoing trial unfair and irregular.

Advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents Ntuli, told Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela that her client would have pleaded differently – had he known about the existence and contents of the second docket.

“Docket 636 was opened in 2014; and docket 375/01/2019 was opened in 2019. The point I’m making before this honourable court is that the information contained in the second docket ought to have been disclosed to the applicant (Ntuli) before he pleaded,” Mshololo submitted.

“The State was well aware of the existence of this docket. To answer the question which says where does the infringement come from… It comes from the violation of Section 87 of the Criminal Procedure Act which gives the applicant the right to request further particulars from the State.”

Since June, the National Prosecuting Authority has been saying the second docket opened by police, which accuses Kelly Khumalo – Senzo Meyiwa’s girlfriend at the time of his murder – and others who were in the Khumalo house of being responsible for his death has no merit in law.

In June, confirmation was presented to the High Court in Pretoria through a letter signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gauteng Local Division, advocate Andrew Chauke, distancing himself from the recommendation in the second docket 375 to prosecute the people who were in the house with Meyiwa, including Kelly Khumalo.

Mshololo said because her client was unaware of the second docket when he started pleading, that amounted to “an irregularity”.

“My lord, what I have submitted to this court amounts to an irregularity and it is not according to the law. Such an irregularity has to be recorded. As the trial proceeds, the applicant is prevented… The dent that has happened cannot be rectified. It is irreparable because evidence has already been led and there is no way it can be rectified,” she submitted.

“A plea cannot be amended at this stage. The decision that was made by the applicant (Ntuli) to remain silent cannot be amended at this stage. It is there, it is recorded and it will be used against him. It will be used when the merits of this case are considered.”

Mshololo said at this stage, Ntuli “does not know how to proceed” in the trial.

Contained in the second docket is a recommendation by the State to have Kelly Khumalo, Chicco Twala’s son, Longwe, Kelly’s mother Gladness Khumalo, Kelly’s sister Zandi Khumalo, Senzo’s childhood friend Tumelo Madlala, Mthokozisi Thwala and Maggie Phiri, who is said to have cleaned the crime scene before the police officers arrived, charged.

Meyiwa was killed in 2014 while visiting Kelly at her mother’s house in Vosloorus, Gauteng.

Five men: Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Ntuli are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of an unlicensed firearm as well as possession of ammunition.

All of the accused have pleaded not guilty.

The trial continues.