Johannesburg - A second State witness has confirmed that Mthobisi Prince Mncube, the third accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, had dreadlocks at the time of his arrest in 2015, regarding another matter.
Mandla Richmond Masondo, a police officer attached to the SAPS provincial taxi violence unit, said he received information that a suspect he was looking for in connection with a taxi-related case he was investigating in Alexandra had just been spotted.
Masondo told the court he and other officers followed Mncube, who was walking with his girlfriend.
They confronted Mncube at his residence in Cleveland, and searched him and the room he was renting. The officers discovered a 9mm Czech Republic pistol and a small blue box with a magazine fully loaded with 15 rounds of live ammunition. One round was in the chamber. Masondo said that in the box they found 12 more rounds of ammunition in different shapes and sizes.
He said that when Mncube was asked to produce his firearm licence, he could not do so, and that is when he was informed that he would be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, as well as possession of ammunition.
Masondo said they took Mncube to the Germiston police station, where they also confiscated his Samsung GTE 2220 cellphone.
Masondo, in describing Mncube when he was arrested on February 9, 2015, after the shooting of Meyiwa on October 26, 2014, said he had dreadlocks and one of his hands was injured.
According to State witnesses, two intruders entered the Vosloorus home of Kelly Khumalo on the night Meyiwa was shot, with the gunwielding intruder having dreadlocks.
Cellphone expert Colonel Lambertus Steyn earlier told the court that pictures downloaded from Mncube’s cellphone showed that in 2014, he had dreadlocks tied in a ponytail.
Steyn told the court he was certain that the man in the photographs with dreadlocks was Mncube, and additional features such as his mouth, cheeks, nose and other details had assisted in positively identifying him.
Masondo told the court that although the serial number of the firearm had been filed off, police conducted an etching process and found that it belonged to a juristic person who was a Fidelity guard from Centurion.
Advocate Charles Mnisi, the legal counsel for Mncube, stressed to the court that Mncube and his home were searched by the police without a search warrant.
The trial continues today.