Senzo Meyiwa murder accused Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi has claimed that police slapped and suffocated him with a silver Truworths plastic bag in order to force him into making confessions.
Similar to the first murder accused in the Meyiwa trial-within-a-trial, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Ntanzi, the second accused, has alleged that the two confessions in the State’s possession were made after repeated torture at the hands of investigating officers.
According to the State, Ntanzi made two separate confessions, one to the police and another to Magistrate Vivienne Cronje, in the presence of his former legal counsel, Dominic Mjiyako.
However, as his current legal counsel, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, explained during previous appearances, Ntanzi had been tortured by police officers at four different locations prior to making the incriminating confessions.
He allegedly signed his first incriminating confession before a police officer after his arrest on June 16, 2020; and the second confession on June 24, 2020, before Cronje and his lawyer days later.
Magistrate Cronje told the court that Ntanzi signed the documents in front of her and after he had completed both the pro forma confession statement and a statement.
In detailing the torture to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, earlier today, Ntanzi told the court that he was first beaten by a police officer who came to arrest him, while he was with his girlfriend at his home in Phokeng.
“When I asked them, you are calling me by the wrong name and you have taken my phone, one of them said don’t ask me ‘sh*t’ and he slapped me.”
Things escalated when he got to Alberton, as he described how an officer known to him as Sergeant Mabena produced a silver Truworths plastic bag and placed it over his head repeatedly, while another officer held him down.
“It was painful, as this was the first time something like this was happening to me. Even now as I am before you, just thinking about it hurts my heart.”
“They kept saying talk, talk and I would ask what should I say, what should I say,” Ntanzi said.
He further stressed that although police never physically assaulted him with their hands, they would use a stabbing object as well as the plastic bag.
“It kept stabbing me and you would feel injured inside or hands getting stiff. Mabena removed my jacket and T-shirt so he could pour me with water. However, the only injuries you can see are the handcuff injuries which I still have to this day.”
Police officer Vusimuzi Mogane according to Ntanzi was the only person who did not like what was being done to him.
He explained that as Mogane was driving the vehicle he would use the rear-view mirror and he could see his heart was in pain because he didn’t like what was being done to him, even coming to ask him if he was okay.
“The only word I would say to him is to tell the person next to him that God should bless them. Even now I say God should bless them.”
The trial-within-a-trial will continue tomorrow.