One of the five men accused of killing Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has testified that he was severely assaulted and forced to sign a pre-written confession implicating him in the footballer’s murder.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, who is the first accused, took the stand on Monday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
The court is currently in a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of Sibiya’s confession statement, which was made after his arrest in May 2020.
Sibiya was arrested on May 31, 2020, in Thembisa by a team of officers from the SA Police Services and the Ekurhuleni Metro Police.
Previously, Sergeant Bathobakae Mogola, who was part of the police that arrested Sibiya, told the court shortly after he was arrested, Sibiya chose to confess after she asked him about Meyiwa’s murder.
Mogola also testified that when they searched Sibiya’s shack, they found ammunition and magazines and when asked about the items, he admitted that they belonged to him. However, he said said the gun was at a hostel with his friend.
During his time on the stand, Sibiya dismissed everything that police told the court and said he never confessed to anything and there was no ammunition or magazine found at his place.
According to his version of events, after his arrest, he was taken to an unknown place and assaulted.
“I never confessed to killing Senzo, I told them I don’t know anything and they assaulted me by tubing me and the more I kept saying I don’t know anything, they continued to kick me while I was lying on the floor,” he said.
Sibiya’s legal representative, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu asked him how long did the assault last, he said wasn’t sure of the time, but it was it was over 30 minutes.
“They did whatever they want to me for quite some time, it could have been over 30 minutes to an hour. They kept asking me as to what is it I knew about Senzo’s death. I said I don’t know anything. As they continued with the plastic that’s when I urinated on myself,” he said.
After allegedly urinating himself, he said police took him back to his shack to change his clothes.
“I showed them where I kept my underwear, my pants and they undressed me and dressed me in fresh clothes and also changed my shoes,” he said.
Sibiya’s statement regarding the changing of pants contradicted Sergeant Mogola’s testimony. Mogola testified that Sibiya allegedly complained that his Brentwood pants were expensive and he wanted to change to avoid his pants being stolen in prison.
“He changed into jeans and also changed his shoes and wore a red-orange Carvela,” said Mogola at the time.
Mogola said they took Sibiya to Diepkloof Police Station so that retired Colonel Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho who was not part of the case, can take down his statement.
According to Sibiya, before he could meet with Mbotho, police continued with the assault until he started bleeding.
He said when Mbotho arrived, he saw that he was bitten but did nothing to help him.
“He asked me what happened and I told him, he had a pen and paper, he asked me questions and was writing, I don’t know what he was writing,” he said.
He said after Mbotho was done with writing, the handcuffs were loosened and he was forced to sign some papers.
“I didn’t keep count, I just signed because I was trying to stay alive.”
Earlier, he told the court that this was not the first time he was assaulted by police.
He said police allegedly assaulted him in June 2019 after they arrested him on a drug charge.
According to Sibiya, they asked him about him Meyiwa’s murder and forced him to confess but he refused.
He said the first assault was not as bad because he was eventually released.
In December 2023, he was found guilty of possession of drugs and illegal ammunition, he was sentenced to 10-years in prison.
The trial continues on Tuesday with the State expected to cross-examine Sibiya.