One of the murder accused, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, contradicted his lawyer regarding details of his alleged assault by police when they were forcing him to sign a pre-written confession statement implicating him in the murder of former Bafana Bafana captain, Senzo Meyiwa.
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, who is the first accused, was cross-examined by State prosecutor, advocate Ronnie Sibanda in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Advocate Sibanda asked Sibiya why some of his testimony contradicts what his legal representative, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, previously told the court.
“Counsel Mngomezulu put assertions to witnesses and he got those instructions from you because you would call him and he would put what you said to the witness, but today, its either you don’t remember, you claim you didn’t tell him to say that, but still, you never even once corrected him,” said Sibanda.
Sibiya replied; “I can’t speak for Mngomezulu, and if he misrepresented me, I can’t comment on that, but I’m here today and I’m telling my ordeal the way it happened, where I don’t remember, I don’t, I’m also human, I will forget certain things and that’s normal.
“Again, I didn’t want it to seem like I’m disrespecting the court by calling counsel every now and again when I can see that the court is in session.”
Sibanda told Sibiya that it was his right to alert his counsel every time he felt like he was being misrepresented.
“Okay, I didn’t know that I can call counsel every now and again, but now I know, I will do that,” said Sibiya.
Sibanda further asked Sibiya why some details of his alleged assault were only heard during cross-examination and were never mentioned by his defence.
“Like I said, I knew that one day I will take the stand and speak for myself. Mngomezulu might not have said everything that I told him word for word, but I think he probably said it in a different way ... I can’t speak for him or anyone, I’m here to speak for myself,” he replied.
Sibiya was adamant that he was severely assaulted, even though he was left with no bruises.
Sibanda asked how it was possible that he had no bruises from the alleged assault.
“I don’t know their sizes, their kicks might have landed in my body in a way that it won’t leave bruises, but they were all kicking me on every part of my body and I was in great pain,” he said.
A picture of Sibiya, wearing the same clothes he wore when he was allegedly assaulted, was shown in court and he was asked why he was clean if he had been kicked while on the floor, as he had claimed.
“That picture is not clear, those clothes were dirty, the camera is not showing everything,” he replied.
Sibanda will continue with his cross-examination on Wednesday.