Pretoria - Senzo Meyiwa’s friend has told the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria how he and the Bafana Bafana captain cancelled their plans to go to a party on the day he died.
Mthokozisi Thwala was giving testimony on the goalkeeper’s death at the resumption of the court case yesterday.
Five men are standing trial for the October 2014 murder of Meyiwa at the family home of his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus.
Thwala was one of the people in the house when the soccer star was shot dead.
Bongani Ntanzi, Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Muzikawukhulelwa Sthemba Sibiya, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa are facing charges, including premeditated murder and attempted murder.
The State, through its legal representative, advocate George Baloyi, called the witness to give an account of that day, October 26, 2014.
Baloyi insists that Meyiwa died in a botched robbery, and has charged the five suspects with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
An emotional Thwala, who had to be reminded to raise his voice a number of times while giving testimony, narrated to the court how they ended up in Vosloorus that day instead of going to the party of one of Meyiwa’s colleagues, Rooi Mahamutsa.
Mahamutsa was playing for Orlando Pirates, which Meyiwa also captained.
Thwala said the two, who were together after a soccer match the day before, were invited to go partying at Mahamutsa’s, but opted to rather go to a concert in Soweto where Khumalo was set to perform.
From the concert they ended up at Khumalo’s house where they were joined by Chico Twala’s son, Longwe Twala.
“We left the concert early because Senzo was supposed to drop me at home in Katlehong (Ekurhuleni) when we cancelled going to the party.
“After he dropped me off at home he called me 10 minutes later so I could change my clothes to accompany him to fetch another friend so we could hang out.
“But when he came back, he was with Kelly and her sister and we had fetched Tumelo Madlala, who is also a friend,” Thwala said.
He said the group proceeded to go to Khumalo’s home after they received a phone call from her mother summoning them to the house.
According to the witness, at the house was the mother, Kelly and her sister Zandi, who were then joined by Meyiwa, Madlala and himself when the attack occurred.
The case was postponed to today by embattled Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela.
Last week the Judicial Service Commission advised President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Judge Maumela and Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi over their failure to deliver numerous reserved judgments.
This may cause the case to hit a snag as it is unclear if Judge Maumela will continue with the murder case.
There was drama in court when disbarred advocate Malesela Teffo caused delays when the trial was set to resume.
In dramatic fashion, Teffo entered the courtroom clad in full legal robes to demand to see Judge Maumela.
Teffo insisted that there were issues he needed to discuss with Judge Maumela that could not be discussed in open court.
“We need to go into the chambers of the judge before this matter can commence,” he demanded.
He continued to say that in his career he had never seen a judge seeking the permission of the accused on whether to see a legal representative in the chambers.
However, the registrar announced to the court that Judge Maumela wanted to hear from defence lawyers if their clients agreed with Teffo’s request to meet him in his chambers.
Teffo is the former legal representative of four of the accused in the murder trial but had to step down from representing them.
He was disbarred last year after a court investigated whether he was still an advocate.
Teffo’s appearance in the trial has seen much controversy. There was drama during the trial last year when police entered the court and arrested him, putting him in handcuffs without an explanation.
He later told the court that Judge Maumela was bewitching him.
The new lawyers for the accused have informed the court of their intention to bring some witnesses back to the stand.