The trial of the five men accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa resumes on Tuesday against a backdrop of sensational claims by singer Kelly Khumalo, the soccer star’s girlfriend at the time of his death.
PRETORIA – The trial of the five men accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa resumes in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Tuesday against a backdrop of sensational claims by singer Kelly Khumalo, the soccer star’s girlfriend at the time of his death.
These included comments about him being a “cash cow” for his family, and being an unknown entity until he became involved with her.
The suspects, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Ntuli will return to court for arguments around the issue of the second docket. They have all pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial has been marked by repeated arguments and delays relating to a second docket, which apparently implicates Khumalo and others who were in the house on the night the Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana skipper’ died eight years ago.
Advocate Zandile Mshololo, legal counsel for accused number 5, Ntuli, even halted her cross-examination of the State witness, saying the State had not furnished her with the second docket, seemingly opened in 2019.
Mshololo continued to raise concerns regarding the second docket despite the National Director of Public Prosecutions saying the indictment from its Gauteng Division in Johannesburg calling for the arrest of Khumalo and others, was crafted by a junior prosecutor and the office had not taken a decision on it.
The second docket lists the murder suspects as Longwe Twala, Kelly Khumalo, Gladness Khumalo, Zandi Khumalo, Tumelo Madlala, Mthokozisi Twala and Maggie Phiri.
Meanwhile, defence counsel for accused one to four, advocate Malesela Teffo, pleaded with Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela to direct the national director to issue a “nolle prosequi” certificate (from the NPA declining to prosecute) to enable the four men to take their matter further. Teffo said they believed there was a cover-up amid the existence of two case dockets.
Even though the attention around the trial had simmered down slightly during the break, attention was brought sharply back ahead of the court appearance as a result of an interview by Khumalo with a local broadcaster.
Khumalo spoke of how she felt let down by the justice system, which left social media abuzz with some supporting her claims and others calling for her to be put in orange overalls. Khumalo said: “We have a problem … about an individual in the darkest place losing loved ones and justice is not served.”
She detailed how her and her family members’ lives had been threatened on multiple occasions, and she felt as though the law was not protecting her.
But what set the cat among the pigeons were Khumalo’s comments that Meyiwa’s claim to fame was through his relationship with her. “I was Kelly Khumalo before Senzo Meyiwa appeared. I did not know who Senzo was until a friend of mine, Lucia Mthiyane, explained to me … ”
Popular Twitter user Man’s Not Barry Roux tweeted: “Kelly is slowly losing her mind. Senzo Meyiwa’s spirit must be haunting her blind.”
Tebogo Koma said: “I feel for Meyiwa’s family, the level of disrespect … shocking. Senzo was and still is a hero. We respected him for his excellent craft not who he hang out with.”
Khumalo’s supporters agreed with her. “Kelly got famous first; Senzo was famous after,” tweeted Daddy-kurlos.