Pretoria - The legal representative of accused number one to four in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Advocate Malesela Teffo, had been intimidated since the watching brief of Kelly Khumalo’s lawyer Magdalene Moonsamy was suspended.
This emerged yesterday during the proceedings which ended dramatically with the arrest of Teffo in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
As proceedings were set to resume following the lunch adjournment, the defence team said it had received threatening calls. The instructing attorney for Teffo told the court that since the watching brief had been called off, he had been receiving threatening calls in the middle of the night.
According to the attorney, someone had called the team and asked if they knew a certain judge, following which they simply hung up. He said they received another call, but in this instance the person did not say anything and all he could hear were papers being shuffled in the background.
Advocate Malesela Teffo the defence for accused one up to four was just arrested in the High Court after proceedings in the Senzo Meyiwa trial #SenzoMeyiwatrial #MaleselaTeffo pic.twitter.com/sbdHFGx9HS— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) April 28, 2022
A request was made for the matter to adjourn as Teffo had allegedly been threatened and was in no state to continue with the cross-examination of the State witness.
But as the matter ended for the day, Teffo was served with a warrant of arrest inside the courtroom and escorted out.
During the commotion, it was said Teffo was set to appear in a Johannesburg court today, but the charges he would face were not indicated at the time of his arrest.
Earlier, State prosecutor Advocate George Baloyi raised an objection to Teffo’s line of questioning. The State requested that the defence be curbed from asking State witness Sergeant Thabo Johannes Mosia hypothetical questions relating to the incident.
Mosia took to the stand as one of the first forensic officers on the scene on the night Meyiwa was shot, on October 26, 2014, and was responsible for collecting exhibits on the scene.
Baloyi told the court that allowing the line of questioning by Teffo to continue traversed issues he (Mosia) had not testified on in court. He stressed that such cross-examination was irrelevant as Mosia was being asked his opinion on matters about which he had no knowledge. Baloyi said the defence should rather wait to pose questions on such matters to the relevant witnesses who were still to appear before the court.
Baloyi said that while he had no problem with Mosia being cross-examined in so far as the correct procedures and what he had collected or done in line with his duties on the day of the incident, that was where his role ended.
Earlier, Teffo questioned why the officer had neglected to take in a walking stick from the scene that he alleged had been used to attack one of the perpetrators on the day. Mosia said he did not collect it as evidence because he was informed by the people in the house that it belonged to one of the victims.
Teffo once more alleged that the officer who initially reported to the scene, referred to as Brigadier Ndlovu, was part of an instruction following a meeting that was held by senior officials within the police alongside the then community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.
He alleged a meeting was held with people in the house alongside two senior Gauteng officials and Nkosi-Malobane, which resulted in the tampering of the scene prior to Mosia’s arrival. Teffo said it was for this reason that he believed Mosia only collected and took photos as directed by Ndlovu, who he claimed was instructed to manage him.
This was refuted by Mosia, who insisted he had no such knowledge, and that he had taken charge of the scene and done his duties as normal.
The defence also asked why no photographs were taken of the second bedroom in which the victims were allegedly kept when the forensic evidence was being collected.
Teffo insisted that Khumalo and the other victims had not been there when the forensic expert arrived as they had gone to the Mulbarton residence she had shared with the slain soccer player.
Over and above that, Teffo said there would be evidence brought before the court which indicated that the shooting had actually taken place just after 7pm, and that Mosia was called in five hours later as a result of the meeting and tampering with the scene.
The matter will resume on May 30 and continue until June 15.