Meyiwa murder-accused denies being read his rights or seeing contents of document he was ‘forced to sign’
Muzi Sibiya said he feared for his life as he had been assaulted and threatened.
The state came out guns blazing on Monday as it tried to cast doubt on Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya’s testimony in the murder trial of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa.
This trial within a trial, which aims to determine the admissibility of confessions allegedly made by Sibiya and Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, continues at the Pretoria high court.
Sibiya, who took the stand, has denied ever being read his rights or them ever being explained to him. He said he was not informed of the consequences of not exercising his rights to remain silent during his detention and interaction with the investigating officers.
He has denied any involvement in the murder of Meyiwa. The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper was shot in October 2014, in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni. Meyiwa was with his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, and several other people when the shooting happened. The house occupants claimed he had been killed in a robbery gone wrong.
Sibiya took the court through how he was assaulted while being asked about his involvement in Meyiwa’s murder by police.
He said he was covered with plastic, which was tightened around his face and suffocated.
Sibiya said he knows nothing about Meyiwa’s death and has never made a confession or admitted to the murder.
I was first assaulted and threatened by the police. I feared for my life if I didn’t do what they wanted me to do.Muzi Sibiya, murder accused
He testified that during his arrest, when being assaulted, he was made to sign documents by Col Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho.
However, he claims that this was not done willingly as force was used to make him sign.
“I was first assaulted and threatened by the police. I feared for my life if I didn’t do what they wanted me to do,” he said.
Further, he revealed that lead investigator Brig Bongani Gininda had walked into one of his assault sessions and proceeded to have a meeting with the officers involved.
Gininda, who had finished giving testimony last week Friday, had denied allegations that the accused were assaulted, stating that they had willingly confessed.
Sibiya said Mbotho also witnessed his assault injuries.
It is also his testimony that the pointing out was not done freely, as he claims he was driven to different spots, ordered and directed to point out while a picture was being taken.
During his cross-examination with defence lawyer Zandile Mshololo, Sibiya said when he raised his hand in Boksburg magistrate’s court to try to report his assault by police, the magistrate prevented him from talking.
Adv Ronnie Sibanda, standing in for state prosecutor, adv George Baloyi, inquired why Sibiya was telling the court for the first time that he was assaulted by police in March 2019 in connection with the murder case.
Sibanda also pointed out discrepancies regarding Sibiya’s testimony and what was put to witnesses by his lawyer, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu.
He questioned why Sibiya sat in the accused box without raising his hand to instruct his lawyer if witnesses were misleading the court.
However, Sibiya said he did correct some of the things, though not everything and stated that he is on the stand to tell his side.
According to Gininda, Sibiya was first linked through witness statements under oath and circumstantial evidence and boasted to individuals closely associated with him in KZN about his involvement in the murder with the other accused.
When there was a dispute, the individuals told the police about his admissions. He was further linked through his formal confession to the commissioned independent officer on May 30 2020. According to Gininda, in the alleged confession, Sibiya implicates Meyiwa’s then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo as the person who gave them the instruction to kill Meyiwa.
Sibiya further pointed out the crime scene and how the incident unfolded.
Gininda said he was also linked by a witch doctor he went to for cleansing before and after the murder.
He said the witch doctor recognised Sibiya at the police station. In the alleged confession, Sibiya stated that he was not the shooter, though he was able to accurately indicate that Meyiwa was shot in the chest.
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