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Police witness gets interpreter in Meyiwa trial

02 June 2022 - 14:49
Sgt Thabo Mosia in the North Gauteng High Court in the trial of five suspects accused of the 2014 murder of Senzo Meyiwa.
Sgt Thabo Mosia in the North Gauteng High Court in the trial of five suspects accused of the 2014 murder of Senzo Meyiwa.
Image: Antonio Muchave

The trial of the five men accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa was adjourned for a short while after the judge decided the state’s first witness Sgt Thabo Mosia needed an interpreter.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela noticed during advocate Zandile Mshololo's cross-examination of Mosia that he was not properly understanding questions put to him.

“I know you have been testifying in English. As you know, all of us can speak English to a certain point, we all have limits. If it comes to where you need interpretation, it won't be a wrong thing to ask for interpretation. It is upon you to say, 'now I need an interpreter' so that you testify freely,” said Maumela.

Mosia agreed to have a Sotho interpreter.

He has been in the witness box for nine days taking questions in English and responding in the same language. The only interpretation in court so far was in Zulu, for the benefit of the accused.

Maumela noticed there was a language problem when Mosia was asked who was supposed to be the custodian of the computer disk containing original photographs of the crime scene.

Mosia sat quietly until Maumela intervened, explaining the question to him.

Mshololo spent the first hour questioning Mosia on why he took instructions from Brig Philani Ndlovu, who was on the scene and had no expertise in forensic investigations.

Mosia said when he was made aware that the case involved a celebrity he had to wait for the crime scene management task team to do the rest.

“The only thing I could do is to secure the projectile and the hat,” Mosia said.

Meyiwa was killed in 2014 at his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, in an alleged robbery.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli have been charged with his murder. The five face charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition.

A Sotho interpreter was secured and the trial continues.



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