Johannesburg - A judge has criticised the conduct of the police in gathering information after the shooting of Orlando Pirates soccer player Senzo Meyiwa on October 26, 2014.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng made the criticism during the cross-examination of Meyiwa’s childhood friend Tumelo Madlala in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday.
He asked Madlala if the police had conducted any gunshot residue tests on him or any of the occupants of the house on the night Meyiwa was shot in an alleged botched robbery.
Madlala said he could not remember such a test being done.
“The other thing is that competent police should have taken all of your clothes. I am surprised because this firearm exploded in a confined space, therefore, common sense tells you that they should have taken all the clothes of all the people who were there and conducted the same tests on them,” Mokgoatlheng said.
Madlala once again said that no such test had been conducted.
Earlier, Judge Mokgoatlheng also had to call advocate Zandile Mshololo, the legal counsel of the fifth accused, Sifisokuhle Ntuli, to order after she got into a heated debate with Madlala during cross-examination.
Mshololo told Madlala: “Please behave yourself, Mr Madlala,” to which he retorted: “You too, advocate.”
Mshololo requested Madlala wait for a question before responding, as they were still dealing with an objection raised by the State.
She then asked him to think before he spoke. Judge Mokgoatlheng interjected, asking her 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 between the two began when Mshololo repeatedly questioned Madlala about why he had asked how a neighbour, Khaya Ngcatshe, had gone after the intruders without a weapon. Yet he did not ask 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 statement and was in court to give his version and not 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. 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 proceeds today with a new witness to be called in.