Khumalo hired Moonsamy to join the trial proceedings on a watching brief, which was allowed by Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, on the first day of the trial.
THE LEGAL defence of four of the five men accused of the murder of former Bafana Bafana and Pirates soccer player Senzo Meyiwa, have failed in their bid to have singer Kelly Khumalo’s legal representative, Magdalene Moonsamy, removed from the matter.
As the trial over the 2014 murder of Meyiwa got under way in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, last week Friday, advocate Malesela Teffo indicated – following a request by the court for witnesses to leave the courtroom – that he was “uncomfortable” with the presence of Khumalo’s lawyer in court.
Khumalo hired Moonsamy to join the trial proceedings on a watching brief, which was allowed by Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, on April 11, the first day of the trial.
Teffo, said his contention with Moonsamy’s presence in court, was due to the possibility of Khumalo being a potential witness in the trial, hence he felt Moonsamy should not be part of the proceedings.
He said he understood that Moonsamy was simply on a watching brief on behalf of Khumalo, who was also a victim in the matter, but he was concerned that she would be able to give her (Khumalo) feedback.
He said he was also uncomfortable with the fact that she had access to certain classified documents that may not be given to anyone.
Judge Maumela, however, dismissed the request and permitted Moonsamy’s continued presence in court.
“There are five accused all pleading not guilty to five counts. Now you have a situation where there is a watching brief around the fact that there has been so much media hype,” said Moonsamy following the proceedings.
“Apart from that, there is a constitutional right. Watching briefs are something that we should have more of in society. It is a constitutional right for any person whether they are accused or not,” she added.
The five – Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifokuhle Ntuli – are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of an unlicensed firearm, as well as possession of ammunition.
All pleaded not guilty to all of the charges levelled against them in court.
In proving its case against the men, the State said it would be leading the evidence of two officers who attended to the scene on the day of the killing and the next day, October 27, 2014, as well as ballistic and cellphone experts, a forensic pathologist, and neighbours who heard the shots.
Prosecutor George Baloyi said a trial within a trial was also to be expected with regards to the admissibility of the alleged confessions of two suspects.
The matter resumes today.