In an unexpected turn of events, a witness who was not on the list of witnesses in the murder trial of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa, was called to testify and his testimony opened a Pandora’s box that led to one of the five accused making threatening gestures at the witness while testifying.
IN AN UNEXPECTED turn of events, a witness who was not on the list of witnesses in the murder trial of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa, was called to testify and his testimony opened a Pandora’s box that led to one of the five accused making threatening gestures at the witness while testifying.
Constable Sizwe Zungu started his testimony on Thursday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Zungu had been drinking with and was in the company of the five men accused of killing Meyiwa on October 26, 2014.
These are five things that came out in court.
– Three men came running, looking scared and carrying guns
According to Zungu, he was visiting his nephew Sifiso Gwabini Zungu on October 26, 2014. He said his nephew was in the company of the accused, who were all in good spirits as they drank and danced at the Vosloorus hostel.
He said that at about 8pm or 9pm accused number one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, accused number two, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, and accused number three, Mthobisi Mncube, came running, looking scared.
He said the three men walked into his nephew’s room.
He then followed the accused to the bedroom because he wanted to see what was going on. When he got into the room, he saw Sibiya and Mncube carrying guns. Ntanzi did not have a gun.
He said Sibiya had a revolver, while Mncube was carrying a 9mm pistol.
The two men then gave Gwabini the guns for safe-keeping. He too had handed his firearm to Gwabini for safe-keeping.
– Accused 5 changed his jacket
Zungu said accused number four, Ziphozonke Maphisa, and accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli, walked in minutes after the three men had come in.
He said Ntuli was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and immediately changed into a grey one.
He said he remembers this because he even told him that he should give him one sweatshirt because he had so many of them.
The black hoodie correlates with a description that was provided by some of the witnesses who were in the house when Meyiwa was murdered.
– Accused 1 knew about Meyiwa’s death before it hit the news
Zungu testified that accused number one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, mentioned that the former Bafana Bafana captain had died before it was even on the news.
The conversation unfolded after the three men came running holding guns.
“We were all shocked at that statement. I even went on social media to check if it was true, but there was nothing. I even told him to verify his sources because there was nothing like that,” he said during his testimony.
– Whiskey celebrations over Meyiwa’s death
Zungu said after the men returned, Sibiya took out a bottle of whiskey and announced Meyiwa’s death.
He said Sibiya looked proud and happy.
– Families of accused “tried to kill” key witness
Zungu said that sometime in November 2019 he was targeted by the families of accused number one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, and accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli.
According to his testimony, he said the incident happened on November 18, 2019.
“It was early in the morning, and I was going to the shop to get something, and I saw their car parked on the side of the road.
“Inside, I noticed that there was Nkazimulo. He is a relative to accused number one and five. A young man from Ntuli’s family was the one who pointed a gun out of the window, but he was slow and I managed to turn back,” he said.
Meyiwa was killed while visiting his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo at her home in Vosloorus on October 26, 2014.
The five accused in the Meyiwa murder trial are Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli.
Zungu will continue under cross-examination on Monday. On Friday, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng ordered police to escort Zungu to his KZN home to fetch notes that he had used to formulate his statement, which was now before court.
Mokgoatlheng said he hoped the witness would be alive on Monday after one of the accused appeared to make death threats towards him during his testimony. The security detail around Zungu, who is also staying at a safe house, was said to have been stepped up after the threats were captured on camera.
The trial continues on Monday.