Accused #1 in Senzo Meyiwa murder trial wants to call cops as witnesses

04 March 2024 - 13:48
By Shonisani Tshikalange
Two of Senzo Meyiwa's murder accused, Muzi Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi, in the North Gauteng high court in Pretoria.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE Two of Senzo Meyiwa's murder accused, Muzi Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi, in the North Gauteng high court in Pretoria.

The first accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, has brought an application to have his case reopened in the trial within a trial on the admissibility of a confession he made.

Meyiwa was fatally shot in October 2014 while visiting the family home of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni. The court has heard testimony that two intruders entered the house, one of whom got into a scuffle with the footballer.

On Monday the Pretoria high court was expected to hear closing arguments in the trial within a trial.

However, one of the defence lawyers, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, informed the court the Legal Aid Board had told him it would not pay him for the services he had offered to Sibiya in the trial within a trial.

After discussion and the consultation with the accused person, it has been made clear to accused No 1 that the Legal Aid Board has made a final decision that I will not be paid for the work I have done since I started the trial within a trial. Over the weekend I was called by his uncle, who indicated they still require my services. They would rather terminate the services of the Legal Aid Board and instruct me privately,” he said.

Sibiya confirmed to the court he has terminated the mandate of Sipho Ramosepele and Mngomezulu will represent him.

Mngomezulu said he had received instructions from Sibiya to reopen his case in the trial within a trial as he intends to call three more witnesses.

“There are certain witnesses he intended to call. He instructed me to bring an application to reopen the defence case on his behalf and call the witnesses he intends to call. According to the instruction and discussion we had, it relates to police officers and I was told they have to be subpoenaed. But I indicated to the witnesses when I consulted with them that they can't wait 14 days to be subpoenaed. At any given stage this week, if the court may so direct, they may come to court to give evidence.”

He said the witnesses they intend to call include generals Vincent Leshabane and Shadrack Sibiya and W/O Meshack Makhubo.

He said he has consulted with Leshabane and Makhubo but not with Gen Sibiya.

State prosecutor advocate George Baloyi said it is unclear what their contribution would be.

“Naturally, this is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. We have progressed to a stage where heads have been filed and the matter must be argued today. Now we hear the defence wants to reopen the case. 

“We are busy with a trial within a trial. What the contribution of the witnesses will be regarding the admissibility of statements in dispute remains to be seen.

“We are going back to the main case and if the defence wants to call witnesses in the main case, obviously they are at liberty to do so. But their names haven't been mentioned anywhere during the trial within a trial. It's unclear what their contribution would be,” Baloyi said.

The matter has been postponed to Wednesday to give Mngomezulu time for consultations and to prepare his heads of arguments.