The presiding judge in the murder trial of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa said he was genuinely concerned about the safety of the new witness as he had to travel to KwaZulu-Natal to fetch the notes he used when writing his incriminating statement.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng made this statement after accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli, was caught on camera on Thursday making facial and hand gestures at Constable Sizwe Zungu who was testifying in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
During cross-examination, his statement had numerous errors, and Zungu said the contents of the statement are true; however, the names of the accused were mixed up by the person who was typing.
He said the statement was taken from the notes he had written. He said some of the notes are at his place of safety, and some are at his home in KZN.
Zungu said he doesn’t mind fetching the notes if the State provides him the financial means.
"Mr Baloyi I fear for this gentleman’s life," said the judge to the prosecutor.
"We have evidence that there was an attempt to murder him... Does he have sufficient protection because he’s being driven down (to KZN)?" asked Judge Mokgoatlheng.
State Prosecutor, advocate George Baloyi, assured the judge that Zungu would be protected.
"Because there are people here in court; I don’t know; they are listening; I don’t know. We must be realistic with this case," said Judge Mokgoatlheng.
Advocate Baloyi said following the threats from accused number five, Ntuli, they decided to enhance Zungu’s protection.
"Yes; because you saw those threats," said Mokgoatlheng, mimicking Ntuli.
The court also heard that Zungu had to move his family to a place of safety.
Mokgoatlheng also told all the legal representatives to prepare arguments to determine the admissibility of Zungu’s statement.
Zungu took the stand on Thursday, and his testimony has opened a Pandora's box in the trial after he revealed that he saw the five accused on the day of Meyiwa’s murder.
According to Zungu, he was visiting his nephew, Sfiso Zungu at a hostel in Vosloorus when three of the accused came running to the house, looking scared and carrying two guns.
He said this was Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi and Mthobisi Mncube.
He said Sibiya and Mncube gave their guns to his nephew for safekeeping.
Ntanzi was not carrying a gun.
Ntuli allegedly followed the three men after some few minutes; he was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and immediately changed into a grey one.
The black hoodie correlates with a description that was provided by some of the witnesses who were in the house when Meyiwa was murdered.
Earlier, during cross-examination, two of the accused, Sibiya and Ntanzi, through their attorney, denied knowing Zungu; they insisted that they never met him before.
Zungu said they were lying; he knows them very well; he said they are related to his nephew, and Ntanzi was also his cousin.
Meyiwa was killed while visiting his singer girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, at her home in Vosloorus on October 26, 2014.
The trial will resume on Monday.