'I never confessed': Sibiya denies admitting involvement in killing Senzo Meyiwa
An accused in the Senzo Meyiwa trial alleges plastic-bag torture was used to force him to sign a pre-written confession, which was false as he knew nothing about the footballer's murder.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya is testifying in a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of his confession statement, which was made after his arrest in May 2020 to a policeman then based in Randburg, Col Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho. He was asked to take the statement by Brig Bongani Gininda, from the cold case unit, who had taken over the investigation into Meyiwa's October 2014 fatal shooting.
“It never happened freely,” Sibiya said on Monday. “All that was done was not out of my free will, even what happened with Col Mbotho was not out of my free will.
“I was abused and pointed at with firearms, from the morning up until late in the evening. Whatever I did, I did it for my safety to save my life, there was no-one there who was on my side or protecting me.”
He testified he was arrested in Thembisa when police arrived in a taxi and told him to lie down at gunpoint.
“They put handcuffs on me. They picked me up using the handcuffs and pushed me inside the taxi. After that they drove me to Chloorkop in Thembisa at some police place,” he said.
Sibiya said he was placed in an office and questioned about Meyiwa's death.
“I informed them that I knew nothing about Senzo's death. They informed me that someone informed them that I know something. I said I didn't know anything. That's when they started to tube me and assaulted me,” he said.
“When I was on the floor, they kicked me, and one took a plastic and tightened it on my face. They kept on asking me what is it I knew about Senzo’s death. I told them I knew nothing about Senzo's death. They continued tubing me.”
He said he sustained injuries. “The injuries are still visible.”
At one point during his assault and torture, he said Gininda appeared and called the officers aside for a meeting.
“He told me that he has long been working with people like me, in the end I will eventually tell him the truth. He said to me he was going to leave me in the company of those people [officers] and they will proceed with their work [assault] because I don't want to co-operate,” Sibiya said.
He said he did not make any confessions during his interaction with Gininda.
“I never admitted to anything, I never made any confession.”
He testified that he was made to sign documents by Mbotho, which were never read to him or explained.
Sibiya said he was later driven to different spots where he was directed by officers on where to point and pictures were taken.
“I was arrested for something I knew nothing about. I was assaulted by the police. I was fearful and in shock. I was doing what I was instructed to do by the officers.”
Mbotho told the court last year that he had properly read Sibiya his rights and the accused had willingly signed the document after confirming he had not been unduly influenced to make the confession.
According to Gininda, Sibiya was first linked to the Meyiwa case after he boasted to individuals closely associated with him in KwaZulu-Natal about his involvement in the murder with the other accused. When there was a dispute among them, they told police about his admissions.
In the alleged confession, he implicated singer Kelly Khumalo as the person who gave them the instruction to kill Meyiwa, who was her lover and father of one of her children.
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