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Fingered in masterminding arrest: Bheki Cele demands to know why advocate Teffo was handcuffed in court

Scores of police officers mobbed advocate Malesela Daniel Teffo in court, before handcuffing him and leading him away. File Picture

Scores of police officers mobbed advocate Malesela Daniel Teffo in court, before handcuffing him and leading him away. File Picture

Published Apr 29, 2022


Pretoria: Advocate Malesela Teffo, the lawyer representing four of the five men arrested for the 2014 murder of Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, has accused Police Minister Bheki Cele of masterminding his arrest.

Police officers had pounced on the legal representative in court, leaving tongues wagging.

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The videos of dozens of armed police officers mobbing the lawyer shortly after the adjournment of the Meyiwa murder trial have been trending, with many questioning the South African Police Service’s seemingly heavy-handed actions.

Teffo was arrested in full view of journalists who were in court to report on the Meyiwa murder trial. Teffo, who is a former police officer, was handcuffed by the SAPS members and taken away.

When asked why he was arrested, Teffo told journalists that Cele was behind his arrest and that he was being arrested for being involved in the Meyiwa murder trial.

Teffo was also heard protesting that the police officers had neither read him his rights nor informed him of the charges.

Cele told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika that he was unaware of the arrest.

“Well, I received the message on the phone, the spokesperson Lirandzu (Themba) saying that the advocate has been arrested and, a few minutes later, at 3.41pm, I received a message that the accusation is that the arrest is pushed by the Minister Bheki Cele and others. Then I immediately… (contacted) the national commissioner to get a full report of what happened, and I wait for that report,” said Cele.

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“Until I know what really happened, I am not able to comment on this matter.”

On Thursday, Teffo told the court that there was a high-profile, well-orchestrated campaign to cover up Meyiwa’s murder because it involved politicians and senior police officers.

In court, Teffo put it to the State’s first witness, SAPS forensic expert Sergeant Thabo Johannes Mosia, that the evidence he had collected after arriving at the crime almost five hours after the shooting was staged.

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“I put it to you, Mr Mosia, that the evidence you collected on both occasions (of visiting the Khumalo house where the murder occurred) was all staged. When you arrived for the first time, you found what you found. It was just put together deliberately, intentionally and you, unwittingly being oblivious of this tampering with the scene, you did your job,” said Teffo.

“I do not blame you. You did your job but you were oblivious to the fact that these things were planted.”

Mosia responded that he could not have determined whether the crime scene was staged but had worked with what he had found.

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Teffo represents Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Ncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa. The fifth accused, Sifisokuhle Ntuli, is represented by advocate Zandile Mshololo.

Meyiwa was killed while visiting his girlfriend and the mother of his child, singer Kelly Khumalo, on October 26, 2014.

In the house that day were Meyiwa, Khumalo and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, Khumalo’s then four-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.