Johannesburg – The legal counsel for the five men on trial for the murder of Senzo Meyiwa was called to order by Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng after a heated debate broke out with State witness Tumelo Madlala in court.
“Please behave yourself, Mr Madlala,” said advocate Zandile Mshololo, the legal counsel for the fifth accused, Sifisokuhle Ntuli, during her cross-examination of Madlala in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier today.
To which he too retorted: “You too advocate.”
Mshololo requested Madlala wait for a question to be asked before responding, as they were still dealing with an objection raised by the State.
She then asked him to think before he spoke, to which Mokgoathleng interjected, asking the legal counsel why she wanted to fight with the witness.
“He’s already been here testifying for three days now; just respect the witness, please.”
The tension came about after Mshololo kept questioning Madlala on why he had asked how a neighbour, Khaya Ngcatshe, had gone after the intruders without a weapon. Yet he did not question how Longwe Twala had pushed the armed intruder.
Madlala insisted that it would be best if the counsel brought Twala to court to answer for himself, as he was still alive.
For most of the cross-examination, he kept pleading that he be asked questions regarding his own statement and that he was in court to tell his version and not regarding what other people had written.
“With Longwe, I am just as perplexed as you are. As to how he did it, I am still asking myself that question to this day. But I like the part that he is still alive; he can come and answer for himself.”
When pushed by Mshololo for a response, he said: “No, I cannot answer for him; if you ask me how he was able to do that, you should ask him and not Tumelo.”
The trial proceedings continue.