Johannesburg - The cross-examination of Constable Sizwe Skhumbuzo Zungu hit another setback in the Pretoria High Court yesterday as the legal counsels of the five men on trial for the murder of Senzo Meyiwa demanded photos downloaded from the accused’s phone.
Zungu was called to give his evidence in the murder trial from last week and told the court that he had been visiting his nephew, Gwabini Zungu at a Vosloorus hostel around the time Meyiwa was shot and killed in October 2014.
Through his testimony, he placed all five suspects at the hostel before and after the shooting of Meyiwa, among other crucial evidence.
He also informed the court he was suspicious of the men upon their return to the hostel, as two of them were armed with a .38 revolver and 9mm firearm after they rushed back from elsewhere looking shocked.
His cross-examination however has been marred with repeated delays caused by requests for original statements, the accused’s falling ill and the latest being a request for photographs downloaded from the accused’s confiscated phone.
Last Wednesday, the matter had to be postponed as the legal counsels of the five men indicated that they only received his statement the day before his appearance which did not afford them enough time to prepare their defence.
The matter was then postponed to give the legal counsels the remaining court day to peruse the statement and consult with the accused.
Zungu’s cross-examination by advocate Sipho Ramosepele, counsel for Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi, proceeded without a hitch however, but was hit with another delay as advocate Charles Mnisi the counsel for Mthobisi Prince Mncube requested the original statement he made and not the typed version.
On Tuesday, the cross-examination was hit with another setback when advocate Zandile Mshololo the legal counsel for the fifth accused Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli, told the court that her client was “not feeling well”.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng subsequently postponed the matter to allow Ntuli to be seen by a doctor with the medical report to be furnished to the court.
Yesterday Mnisi was able to proceed with his cross-examination pointing out a number of inconsistencies with the police officer’s evidence-in-chief, especially the clothes worn by the accused and how he had recalled who was present on the night in question.
Following a short adjournment, Mnisi did a U-turn and said he could not continue with the cross-examination without the photos downloaded from his client’s phone.
Mnisi said even though a large number of pictures were downloaded, only a few from the photo album compiled by the investigators had been shown in court so far.
“I am hamstrung to continue with cross-examination without further information relating to the photos.”
“There are other photos as well. Remember Mr Mosia only brought eight photos to court, but it then transpired he took more than 30 photos at the crime scene,” he added.
The trial was subsequently postponed to today to allow for the provision of the photographs.