Pretoria - The proceedings at the late footballer Senzo Meyiwa’s murder trial case were today cut short, and the case was postponed to Monday after Advocate Sipho Ramosepele, the legal representative for two of the five accused, reported that he was not feeling well.
Ramosepele broke out in a sweat as he cross-examined Meyiwa’s long-time friend Mthokozisi Thwala, who took the stand at the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
Thwala was testifying about the circumstances linked to Meyiwa's fatal shooting at his girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus on October 26, 2014.
During cross-examination Ramosepele kept wiping his face; he notified Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela just before tea break that he was unwell.
The Senzo Meyiwa muder trail continues in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria with the suspects Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi. Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa in the dock. #SenzoMeyiwa #KellyKhumalo pic.twitter.com/KmAZTueUZf— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) May 5, 2023
Maumela announced the postponement with the agreement of the other defence lawyers and State counsel George Baloyi.
Ramosepele is representing Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi, who are on trial along with Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa. The five men are charged with premeditated murder and attempted murder.
In the morning, Ramosepele picked up on cross-examination from where he had left off on Thursday, with a suggestion that the crime scene was contaminated before the police’s arrival.
Thwala, however, stuck to his guns, saying he would not like to comment on something he didn’t know about.
Ramosepele was in the process of building up a scenario, which culminated in Meyiwa’s killing, before the postponement.
He was told by Thwala that two intruders had entered the house, armed with a firearm and sharp object.
A firearm-wielding intruder, according to Thwala, demanded money and cellphones from the occupants who included Kelly, her two children, her sister Zandile and mother Ntombi. Meyiwa and his two friends Tumelo Madlala and Thwala were also there.
The court was told that music producer Sello Chico Twala’s son, Longwe who had joined them later on, was the first to run out of the house after the robbers entered Khumalo's homestead.
Thwala who was scared to suddenly see a gunman in the house, said Longwe was the first person to react and flee the scene.
“Longwe stood up, went straight to the person with a firearm, pushed him and went out of the door,” he said.
According to him, Meyiwa then stood up and the others followed suit. He said Meyiwa confronted the gunman and both of them pushed each other until they were in the kitchen.
A scuffle broke out in the kitchen involving the alleged robber, Meyiwa, Tumelo, Kelly’s mom and Zandile.
Amid the commotion Thwala said he was next to Christian, who is Kelly and Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye’s child.
He said he only noticed the second intruder when Longwe was about to leave the house.
“I can’t recall the second intruder saying anything. He was holding a sharp object. I saw the sharp object when we were in the kitchen,” he said.
He told the court that he was seeing Longwe for the first time, adding that “the only thing I knew was that he was Zandi’s boyfriend and not that he was Longwe Thwala”.
On that fateful night, he said, they had planned to go to a birthday party of Rooi Mahamutsa, Meyiwa’s teammate at Orlando Pirates.
This week Thwala also testified about his alleged torture at the hands of the police inside Colonel Joyce Buthelezi’s office in 2019.
Buthelezi headed a team of investigators linked to a second docket numbered 375, which implicated those inside the Khumalo’s house at the time of Meyiwa’s killing.
Thwala said his hands and legs were bound together, he was assaulted for hours and intimidated by police who wanted him to confess to killing Meyiwa. He refused to admit to any wrongdoing.
He also said he had pressed criminal charges against police to the Bheki Themba SAPS in Umlazi.
His case was referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), but there had been no headway made.
Part of his testimony this week was about his refusal to participate in a Netflix documentary about Meyiwa’s murder case on the grounds that he was convinced that the whole project was all about making profit.