Pretoria – The five men arrested by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in connection with the 2014 murder of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates ace goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa have all pleaded not guilty to the horrendous crime.
The five men are Muzikawukhulelwa Sthemba Sibiya, 34; Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, 30; Mthobisi Prince Ncube, 36; Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, 35, and Sifisokuhle Ntuli, 32, were given the opportunity to plead, and they all denied committing the crime.
Lead prosecutor in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Advocate George Baloyi formally presented the charges to the accused.
The charges include premeditated murder, attempted murder for shooting at Zandile Khumalo, robbery with aggravating circumstances for seizing a cellphone during the incident, possession of an illegal firearm, and possession of ammunition.
Meyiwa was killed on October 26, 2014, while visiting his girlfriend and mother of his child, singer Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus in Gauteng.
In the house that fateful day were Meyiwa, Kelly and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, and Kelly’s then 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, Kelly’s daughter with Senzo.
On Friday morning, attorney Magdalene Moonsamy, representing Kelly Khumalo on a watching brief in the trial, said her client is ready to come to court and testify on what she knows about the 2014 murder.
“If the prosecution requires her as a witness in court … she is a witness in the matter and she has been compliant and cooperative in the matter,” Moonsamy said, speaking to broadcaster eNCA ahead of the resumption of the trial.
“So if she is required to be present in court then she will be.”
As the high-stakes murder trial of the five men resumed on Friday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced that it is ready to proceed.
“The NPA’s lead prosecutor in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Advocate George Baloyi urges all role players to ensure that the matter proceeds (today), in the interest of justice for the Meyiwa family and the public at large,” said North Gauteng regional spokesperson for the director of public prosecutions, Lumka Mahanjana.
The trial of the five men accused of the 2014 murder of Meyiwa was scheduled to start on April 11, but was postponed after Advocate Zandile Mshololo, the legal representative of the fifth accused, Ntuli, indicated she was unable to proceed with the trial without sufficiently consulting.