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Advocate Teffo is doing fine and gearing up to fight his dramatic arrest in court

Police arrested advocate Malesela Daniel Teffo, the legal representative of four men accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial. File picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye

Police arrested advocate Malesela Daniel Teffo, the legal representative of four men accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial. File picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye

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, is “okay” after he spent the night in a Joburg police station cell. He was arrested yesterday.

“He is fine, I want to check him now this morning. Since I left him at one o’clock in the morning, he was okay,” Teffo's instructing attorney in the Meyiwa murder trial, Tshepo Thobane, told eNCA in Hillbrow.

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“I did not ask him (how he slept), but you cannot sleep well in a cell.”

Thobane said his team waited up for the docket until around 1am on Friday.

“I went to see the prosecutor. We are still waiting for the docket,” said Thobane.

Teffo was reportedly arrested for a case of trespassing unrelated to the Meyiwa murder trial.

Thobane said the dramatic arrest of Teffo inside the High Court in Pretoria would be addressed fully in a media briefing.

“We will not be taking it up with this court (in Hillbrow) but definitely we will take it up, somewhere with another court. It will be upon his instructions. As he told me, we are not to talk much to the media until he is out then we will have a press conference,” said Thobane.

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He said Teffo’s arrest did not affect the Meyiwa murder trial and Teffo would be representing his clients when the trial resumed.

“That trial will continue and he will be there,” said Thobane.

During the arrest, Teffo accused Police Minister Bheki Cele of masterminding his detention.

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Several police officers pounced on the legal representative inside the high court building, leaving tongues wagging.

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

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

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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, however, 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.

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

On Thursday, shortly before his arrest, 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.

“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.

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 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.