Home South African Disbarred advocate accused of trying to ‘bribe’ Meyiwa family

Disbarred advocate accused of trying to ‘bribe’ Meyiwa family

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Disbarred advocate Malesela Teffo allegedly tried to “bribe” the Senzo Meyiwa family with cash on the eve of the slain Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s murder trial resuming in the Pretoria High Court this coming week.

Disbarred advocate Malesela Teffo used to represent three of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial until he withdrew from the case and was subsequently struck off the roll of advocates after the LPC received numerous complaints about his conduct. File picture: Oupa Mokoena, African News Agency (ANA)

DISBARRED advocate Malesela Teffo allegedly tried to “bribe” the Senzo Meyiwa family with cash on the eve of the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s murder trial resuming in the Pretoria High Court this coming week.

The trial of the five men accused of killing Meyiwa is expected to resume on Tuesday, when a new witness, Mthokozisi Twala, one of the slain soccer star’s friends, is expected to testify.

Teffo used to represent three of the accused until he withdrew from the case and subsequently struck off the roll of advocates after the Legal Practice Council (LPC) received numerous complaints about his conduct.

The Sunday Independent has reveal that Teffo approached the Meyiwa family earlier this month and had planned to visit them at Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal to give them R50,000 cash from a mysterious donor.

The family, suspecting something was fishy with Teffo’s request to visit them with cash, then notified AfriForum, which is representing the family at the trial.

Advocate Gerrie Nel sent Teffo a letter informing him that AfriForum was made aware that he was planning to visit the family on April 6, 2023.

In the letter, Nel informed Teffo: “We are instructed to inform you that our client will not meet you or accept any money … Our instructions are that you have indicated that two family members of the accused will accompany you and you have also promised a cash payment intended for our clients.

“More concerning, our instructions are that you have disingenuously conveyed the expectations that following your visit to our clients, the prosecutor Adv Baloyi will also visit them. You are invited to respond to us and explain the context of your intended engagement with our clients.”

AfriForum spokesperson Barry Bateman said on Saturday that Teffo never responded to their letter. “We can confirm that he received our letter but never bothered to respond to it.”

Sunday Independent understands that subsequent to AfriForum’s letter, Teffo allegedly deposited R40,000 into the bank account of Sifiso Meyiwa, who is the brother of the late footballer.

“Teffo has been trying to bribe the Meyiwa on behalf of someone and we suspect the money might be coming from the mastermind behind Senzo’s killing,” a source with intimate knowledge of the transaction said.

The source added that Teffo’s real role in the Meyiwa case needed to be investigated. “He seems to be representing ulterior motives instead of helping the family find closure and justice in this case.”

Bateman also confirmed that AfriForum was made aware that Teffo went behind their back and deposited money into the bank account of one of the Meyiwa family members.

When approached for comment, Teffo said: “Go to hell Mzilikazi, I don’t owe you any answer, who do you think you are?”

Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed at his girlfriend and pop star Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s house in Vosloorus in October 2014.

In the house at the time when Meyiwa was killed were Kelly and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, who is the son of musician and ace producer Sello “Chicco” Twala, and two of the soccer star’s friends, Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala as well as Kelly’s then four-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.

Five men – Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli – were arrested and charged with Meyiwa’s murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of an unlicensed firearm as well as possession of ammunition.

All five men come from Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal.

This week the Judicial Service Commission advised President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, who is presiding in the trial of the five men.

Maumela is accused of failing to deliver a series of judgments within a reasonable period.

“If Judge Maumela is just a useless judge, why was he given this big case to preside on, was it done deliberately to mess up the case that was compromising from day one or something is pulling the string to punish the judge for not dancing to their music on this Senzo Meyiwa case?” a senior attorney, who asked not to be named, asked on Saturday.

NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the latest development on Judge Maumela has no implications for the Senzo Meyiwa trial.

“Whatever the president decides about the affected judges, the recommendation of the JSC is that they must finalise all matters before them,” Mahanjana said.

She confirmed that the trial is expected to resume as scheduled on Tuesday. “In light of the harassment of the previous witness by the media, the identity of state witnesses will not be revealed until they take the witness stand.”

Advocate Teffo failed to answer our calls or questions sent to him.

– SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

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