Home South African More delays in Senzo Meyiwa trial as accused fires lawyer

More delays in Senzo Meyiwa trial as accused fires lawyer

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The murder trial of slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa has hit another snag after one of the accused fired his lawyer, forcing a further delay to proceedings at the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya decided to changed his legal representative. File picture: Jacques Naude, African News Agency (ANA)

THE MURDER trial of slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa has hit another snag after one of the accused fired his lawyer, forcing a further delay to proceedings at the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria.

Accused number two, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, has decided to change his legal representative, firing advocate Sipho Ramasepele, and also brought an application to have the trial-within-a-trial reopened.

Ramasepele will continue to represent accused one, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi.

Sibiya will now be represented by advocate Thulani Mngomezulu.

On Monday, the Pretoria court was set to hear final arguments after over three months of a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of confession statements made by Sibiya and Ntanzi.

The pair claim they were severely assaulted by the police and were forced to sign confession statements implicating themselves and others in the murder of the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper.

The two accused were represented by advocate Sipho Ramoselepe and during the trial-within-a-trial their counsel was joined by advocate Thulani Mngomezulu.

Before the court could start hearing the closing arguments however, Mngomezulu addressed judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng and told him that the Legal Aid Board indicated that it won’t be paying him for services he had offered to Sibiya in the trial-within-a-trial.

“Over the weekend I was called by Sibiya’s 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.

Furthermore, Mngomezulu told the court that Sibiya also wishes to reopen his case in the trial-within-a-trial and wants three police officers to come and testify.

“According to the instruction and discussion we had, it relates to police officers and I was told they have to be subpoenaed. I indicated to the witnesses when I consulted with them that they might be called to testify at any given stage this week,’’ he said.

Jugde Mokgoatlheng said he didn’t want to seem unfair towards the accused and gave Mngomezulu until Wednesday to consult with the witnesses and to prepare his heads of argument.

Meyiwa was killed on October 26, 2014, while visiting his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo at her home in Vosloorus.

Five men — Ntanzi, Sibiya, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are standing trial for his murder.

The matter will return to court on Wednesday.

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