Joburg - “Please sit down; you are disturbing the court processes; otherwise, I will order that you be taken out.”
This was the stern warning by High Court Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela to advocate Malesela Teffo, who attempted to have his say in the trial looking into the murder of Orlando Pirates player Senzo Meyiwa earlier today.
Maumela and Teffo had a brief “tiff” as legal counsels were due to give a brief synopsis of their heads of arguments on whether the request by the State witness, Zandi Khumalo, for no visuals or audio of the proceedings to be broadcast by the media would be allowed.
This was because the case had to be postponed on Monday after State prosecutor advocate George Baloyi informed the court that although the media were not broadcasting any visuals of the witnesses, the upcoming witness had further requested that no audio be broadcast either.
He further indicated that although she was comfortable giving her testimony to the courts, she was not comfortable with her testimony being broadcast live due to public scrutiny and fears for her safety, and that journalists were welcome to sit in court to observe the proceedings instead.
However, as Baloyi was due to give a brief of his heads of arguments in relation to the matter, advocate Zandile Mshololo informed the court that Teffo had requested that she inform the court that he was sitting in court on a watching brief.
Teffo interjected, stating that he had been instructed by Meyiwa’s brother, Sifiso Meyiwa, and the Orlando Pirates team management, who were also interested in hearing Khumalo’s testimony.
Maumela was at pains to bar Teffo from speaking, citing that he had been the reason why the court proceedings had been delayed on other appearances.
“I’m asking you to stay put and watch that brief and allow the representatives who have been paid by the accused to represent them in this matter to play their role. Baloyi is supposed to address the court, and what you are doing now is coming in between the court proceedings.
“I am not saying I am allowing or disallowing you, but I have been told and noted it. Please sit down, or I will order that you be taken out,” Maumela said.
Teffo said Maumela was more than welcome to make such an order; however, it had to be noted that he was depriving the right people affected who were interested in Khumalo’s testimony.
Maumela further stressed that the interruptions by Teffo were rude, as time was of the essence in that regard.
The court was then able to proceed with the media application.