Africa

Witness statements in second docket contradicts statements in first docket in Meyiwa murder: Mshololo

The relevance of the controversial second docket, CAS 375/1/2019, which was opened almost five years after the murder of former Orlando Pirates keeper Senzo Meyiwa, has come under the spotlight at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.  

During her submission of an application for a special entry, counsel for the fifth accused, Advocate Zandile Mshololo, has argued that the docket is relevant to the current proceedings as it contained statements from the same witnesses in the first docket Vosloorus CAS 636/10/2014 and because it also referred to the same crime and same set of facts.  

“The second docket contains the photo album of photos that were taken at the crime scene the following day after the incident. That is crucial to this trial. It also contains the second statement of Thabo Mosia who is testifying before this court and in that statement, he is contradicting himself,” argues Mshololo. 

“It also contains the statement by Brigadier Ndlovu who played a role in the investigation of this matter and that statement has not been disclosed. It contains material evidence regarding the evidence of Mosia who is in the box. That information ought to have been supplied to the defense.” 

Mshololo says these contradictions by witness statements are relevant to the current proceedings and in her preparation for her client, Fisokuhle Ntuli, she ought to have been furnished with such information as required by the law. 

“It also contains the statement of Warrant Officer Mishack Makhubo regarding the status of the witnesses who submitted statements under Voslorus CAS 636/10/2014. He (Makhubo) is referring to the information or evidence that was obtained during the investigation of the crime. The statements are contradictory to the statements contained in the other docket.” 

Mshololo says this non-disclosure of information has prejudiced her client who could have pleaded differently had such information, which only came to the attention of the court during the trial, been made available before the plea. 

She says her client’s constitutional rights were violated by the state ‘withholding’ of such crucial information.  

She has pleaded with the court to record this as an ‘irregularity’ which she would use at the Supreme Court of Appeal in the event her client is found guilty.  

“The information contained in the second docket; the state was aware of it when the accused pleaded. Above the violation of section 32 of the constitution, the constitutional right of the applicant protect under section 35 says the accused has every right to be furnished with sufficient information to be able to prepare a defense. Without the applicant being given that information an irregularity was created,” says Mshololo. 

As a result, she says, her client has suffered irreparable damage as, according to her submission, a plea cannot be amended at this stage of the trial because of the evidence that has already been led.

Last week, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) announced that the decision on the second docket would only be made after the current proceedings, something Mshololo says speaks to the relevance of the docket in the current trial. 

The court has adjourned earlier than usual for lunch following the state’s introduction of new information which the defense has argued they would need time to go through before it is presented in court.  

According to the docket, Vosloorus 375/01/2019, opened only almost five years after the incident, Longwe Twala, Kelly Khumalo, Gladness Khumalo, Zandi Khumalo, Tumelo Madlala, Mthokozisi Thwala and Maggie Phiri should be charged with defeating the ends of justice and says nothing about the murder charge. 

According to the first docket which led to the arrest and charging of the five people currently being tried in court, the intruders demanded money and cellphones before a scuffle ensued leading to one of the intruders fatally shooting the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper in 2014. 

Sibiya, Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonnke Maphisa, and Sifisokuhle Ntuli are charged with Meyiwa’s murder, attempted murder of other witnesses, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition. 

They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges. 

Senzo Meyiwa murder trial: 05 September 2022

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