Senzo Meyiwa murder trial defence advocate Malesela Teffo arrested
By Alex Mitchley | News24 |
Advocate Malesela Teffo, who is representing four of the men accused of murdering Senzo Meyiwa, was arrested inside the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.
The trial of the alleged killers had just been postponed when an investigating officer and a number of police officers approached Teffo.
News24 overheard there was a warrant of arrest issued by the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court as Teffo had missed a court appearance for a separate case in which he is the accused.
A visibly distressed Teffo asked the arresting officer if his attorney had been contacted and questioned why he was being arrested.
He also asked why he was being arrested now, when it appeared the warrant of arrest was authorised for missing a court appearance in January 2022.
“They arrested me because I am in this case,” Teffo told reporters.
He claimed he was being arrested because Police Minister Bheki Cele did not want him defending the accused in the Meyiwa murder trial.
Teffo was eventually placed in handcuffs and taken down to the court’s holding cells, where the four accused he is representing had been taken moments before.
He is expected to appear in the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
It is understood Teffo was arrested in July 2020 and charged with common assault and trespassing after allegedly trying to enter a police station to represent a client in a labour dispute.
Police said they would release a statement, which will be added once received.
Before court adjourned on Thursday, Teffo abruptly stopped cross-examining the State’s first witness, forensic fieldworker Sergeant Thabo Mosia.
Teffo then started talking about his life being in danger and receiving death threats.
His instructing attorney, TT Thobane, took over and addressed court, alleging he had received a number of threatening phone calls.
He reiterated death threats had been received, adding they had also received a tip-off Teffo would be arrested.
“These are intimidation tactics,” Thobane told the court.
He said Teffo could not continue with the cross-examination as he was not in a good state of mind.