Pretoria – Tempers flared at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial on Tuesday as deep divisions between the legal representatives of the five men accused of killing the football icon argued on the way forward in the high-stakes case.
After hearing submissions from advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents Sifisokuhle Ntuli, advocate George Baloyi, the lead State prosecutor, and advocate Malesela Teffo, who represents Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa, the seemingly exasperated judge said he was not interested in listening to lengthy fights, but wanted to continue with the trial.
“You have decided that there must not be a trial,” said Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, sternly addressing Teffo.
“The DPP [director of public prosecutions] has decided that there must be a trial. I do not know where, but you have decided that they [the accused] must not be tried. I have never heard of it. It is never done that way,” Judge Maumela said.
“We should not sit in court and adopt a noma singafa [even if we die] attitude. It doesn’t work that way. We go to the procedures, they are in books and journals.
“You can research and find that, but when we want to proceed in court, let us proceed. Whoever holds his fort and decides things are going to work out my way – whether the judge, defence counsel or interpreter – cannot hold us to ransom and get away with it.”
Teffo responded, submitting that “the holy book says you see a stick in your brother’s eye, while there is a log in your eye. That is what is happening.
“The DPP is the last person, Baloyi, to talk about procedure. There is corruption happening in the office of the DPP, which is why we are having two dockets today.”
Maumela said Teffo had so many points to use in appealing should the verdict not favour his clients.
Unrelenting, Teffo said he was willing to be lectured on law, but could not be tutored by Baloyi and Mshololo.
“I am very keen to learn. I love so much to learn, anytime, but I cannot be taught by persons who themselves are not learned. These two people on my left and right [Baloyi and Mshololo] are not learned. They think they can tell me …”
Teffo’s instructing attorney TT Thabane then interjected, requesting permission to approach his clients, the murder-accused men.
The court agreed to Thabane’s request, and then took a lunch break.
Meyiwa was killed in 2014 while visiting entertainer Kelly Khumalo at her mother’s house in Vosloorus, Gauteng.
The trial continues.