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Senzo Meyiwa’s murder scene allegedly tampered with by neighbour who cleaned up alcohol cans before cops arrived

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This came to light during cross-examination led by advocate Sipho Ramosepele, representing Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi, who are among the accused in Meyiwa’s killing.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi. Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa are on trial over Senzo Meyiwa’s killing on October 26, 2014. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

SOCCER star Senzo Meyiwa’s murder scene was allegedly tampered with by one of the neighbours who cleaned up empty cans of alcohol before the police’s arrival for investigation at his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s family home in Vosloorus.

This came to light on Thursday during cross-examination led by advocate Sipho Ramosepele, representing Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi, who are among the accused in Meyiwa’s killing on October 26, 2014.

The pair are among five men on trial in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, facing charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.

Their co-accused are Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa.

Ramosepele was cross-examining Meyiwa’s long-time friend Mthokozisi Thwala when he insinuated that there was “scene tampering” after the shooting.

“There is evidence that is going to be led about scene tampering (carried out by) one of the neighbours, before the police arrived, cleaned the empty cans in the house so that when the police came the scene is polished up,” he said.

Thwala shrugged off the suggestion, saying: “The neighbour will testify about that.”

This was after it emerged that Thwala, Meyiwa, Tumelo Madlala (Meyiwa’s friend) Khumalo and her sister Zandile were drinking alcohol before the intruders stormed the house.

Also inside the house were legendary music producer Sello “Chico” Twala’s son Longwe, Kelly’s two children and her mother, Ntombi.

On Wednesday, Thwala told the court that a scuffle broke out during which Zandile and her mom assaulted an armed intruder with crutches belonging to Madlala.

A gunshot went off during the scuffle, and it was discovered that Meyiwa had been shot in the chest.

Meyiwa subsequently succumbed to his wound at a hospital, according to Thwala.

Earlier the State and defence lawyers of the accused were at loggerheads over counsel for the State advocate George Baloyi’s preposition to allow Thwala to correct inconsistent statements he had previously made.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, however, ruled against the lawyers’ objections in favour of Baloyi.

One of the statements Thwala made to the police was wrongly dated October 28, 2014, while he claimed it was taken on October 27, 2014.

In a statement taken by the police on December 15, 2017, Thwala pointed out that a police officer who took a statement from him “confused the hoodie and the hat and unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it”.

He also said during an identity parade held in Pietermaritzburg he never said a prisoner with “number 4 tag” was one of the intruders.

“I didn’t say it was him; I said the person had similar features to the person who was there, but the manner they (the police) wrote it is wrong,” Thwala said, adding that he expressed his concern to Colonel Bongani Gininda, the lead investigator in the murder case.

On Wednesday, Thwala testified that he was assaulted inside Colonel Joyce Buthelezi’s office by the police who forced him to confess to killing Meyiwa. He refused to admit to any wrongdoing.

Yesterday, he said he opened a case against the police at Bhekithemba police in uMlazi for the alleged assault.

The case, he said, was referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), but to date, nothing had come out of it.

He said that Ipid officers “came once at work to take a statement of what transpired”.

“I tried to contact them with my legal representative Mr Rogers, but we couldn’t find them. The last time we made contact was in November,” he said.

“We are going to four years and they have never come back to us with feedback regarding what the way forward is,” he said.

Thwala also testified that he refused to participate in a Netflix documentary about Meyiwa’s murder because he was convinced that the whole project was all about making profit.

Makers of the documentary, 10/10 Films, attempted to convince him to take part in it, he said.

He said the only thing he shared with the documentary makers were his photos with Meyiwa.

“I think I gave them six pictures and told them that they can use them for free,” he said.

Thwala assumed that the documentary makers used recordings of an interview he made with Soweto Mandlanzi, who wrote a book about Meyiwa in 2016.

In 2016, he said Senzo’s late father called him about a book project that was to be written concerning the deceased.

He told the court that he was aggrieved by the author who failed to rectify some mistakes he pointed out in the book before its publication.

“I read the book for about two to three days; I informed him about the mistakes in the book. The mistakes were not about the things I said, but about the dates and where certain events took place,” he said.

The murder trial continues today.

Pretoria News

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