Five men accused of killing soccer legend Senzo Meyiwa pleaded not guilty in the Pretoria High Court on Friday, and they have opted against providing plea explanations and to remain silent and allow the State to prove its case.
FIVE men accused of killing soccer star Senzo Meyiwa pleaded not guilty in the Pretoria High Court on Friday, and they have opted not to provide plea explanations, but to remain silent and allow the State to prove its case.
The State’s first witness, a police photographer, is expected to give evidence tomorrow when the case resumes. He will present a photo album and sketch plan of the Vosloorus house where Meyiwa was murdered on October 26, 2014.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Ncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli face five charges.
One is the premeditated murder of Meyiwa, the second the attempted murder of Zandile Khumalo, who was shot at during the alleged robbery, and the third is robbery with aggravating circumstances in that the accused assaulted both Kelly Khumalo and her mother Gladness before stealing an S4 Samsung cellphone.
Charge four is the illegal possession of a 9mm pistol without a visible serial number or licence and the last charge is the illegal possession of ammunition.
Sibiya, Ntanzi, Ncube and Maphisa are represented by advocate Malesela Teffo, while Ntuli is being represented by advocate Zandile Mshololo.
During the proceedings, Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela was alerted to potential witnesses being in their presence and he requested that all leave the courtroom. “They are not supposed to listen as evidence is being led.
They are going to be called later because we don’t want anybody to tailor their evidence after what they have heard. They should testify from what they know,” said Maumela.
Teffo requested that Kelly Khumalo’s attorney, Magdalene Moonsamy, not be allowed into the courtroom as her client could take the stand. He also suggested that Moonsamy’s friendship with prosecutor George Baloyi could be detrimental to the case.
“Furthermore, I will consider the documents or bundles that we use as classified documents and they may not be given to anyone and I have realised that she also has access to the documentation. If she can explain her situation as she is comfortable with the State’s advocate Baloyi, we are not comfortable with her,” he said.
The judge quickly dismissed Teffo, requesting that he sit down.
Advocate Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, on a watching brief on behalf of Meyiwa’s mother and sisters, said they welcomed the start of the trial after eight years of waiting.
“Although it got off to a stuttering start, we are hopeful it will hereafter proceed more smoothly to ensure that the Meyiwa family as well as society finally receive justice for this senseless murder,” he said.