The defence said witnesses identified in the Netflix documentary, released days before the trial started, had received threats.
THE PRETORIA High Court has ruled that Ten10 Films can continue filming the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial after the defence brought an application to have the judge to remove the media crew from the courtroom, arguing that their documentaries produced for Netflix endanger witnesses in the high-stakes trial.
Permission was granted on the basis that Ten10 films is a media house. “I don’t have evidence at this point to order anybody out. My final ruling is that I am not ordering anybody out who has applied as a media house,’’ said Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela.
Earlier, advocate Malesela Daniel Teffo, who represents four of the men who are accused of the murder, had argued vehemently for Ten10 Films media crew to be booted from the court.
“It cannot be that these people are given leeway to film this these proceedings, free of charge. Right now, they are busy with a sixth episode. In episodes one to five … some of our witnesses-to-be were interviewed …” said Teffo.
Teffo insisted that Ten10 Films was covering the court proceedings based on the permission granted to news companies – not for the production of films or documentaries but for public interest.
Teffo said witnesses identified in the Netflix documentary, released days before the trial started, had received threats.
He was not satisfied with the judge’s decision and indicated that they would pursue the matter further and make a formal application.
After Judge Maumela had given a directive on Ten10 Film, the court called the first witness of the day with only few minutes left before adjournment.
Sergeant Thabo Mosia, who was called by the prosecution, took the stand where he was cross-examined by Teffo.
Teffo questioned Mosia about an affidavit he wrote on the June 12 2019 written before Colonel Buthelezi.
“I put it to you that this affidavit was deposed in relation to another case that is in relation to the Meyiwa murder,’’ Teffo told Mosia.
Mosia insisted that the statement was written by him and he was not under pressure.
He wrote the statement four years after Meyiwa’s death.
Meyiwa was killed in 2014 while visiting his girlfriend and the mother of his child, singer Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus.
In the house that day were Meyiwa, Kelly and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, Kelly’s then 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.
Five men, 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 of the accused have pleaded not guilty.
The matter was postponed to Tuesday (May 31).