Senzo Meyiwa’s friend faces tough questions over fateful 2014 night
By Jonisayi Maromo | IOL News |
The trial of five men accused of killing Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates’ iconic goalkeeper Senzo Robert Meyiwa has resumed in the High Court in Pretoria after a two months break.
This morning, the State’s third witness, Meyiwa’s close friend Tumelo Madlala, will be quizzed by legal counsel for accused number five, advocate Zandile Mshololo.
Five men, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, 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 five accused have pleaded not guilty.
During the previous sitting of the trial, Madlala dropped a bombshell, telling the court that he vividly remembers Ntanzi from the October 2014 night when Meyiwa was brutally killed.
Madlala insists being in the same room with Ntanzi makes him “uncomfortable”.
“That one, that man in blue or green T-shirt. That is the man who was held by Senzo. That is the man who had his beard cut,” said Madlala, pointing directly at Ntanzi, who was sitting in the dock among his co-accused.
Sitting in the heavily guarded court, Ntanzi was smiling as Madlala kept accusing him.
Defence lawyers sharply objected to the identification of the accused in the court. They argued that the witness was unreliable.
During the two-month hiatus, Ntanzi used the opportunity to bring an urgent bail application, heard before Acting Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba in October.
Advocate Timothy Thobane, representing Ntanzi, proposed to the superior court that his client could raise R10 000 for bail and would not miss his court appearances for the high-profile trial.
The court also heard that Ntanzi does not have a passport and would not evade trial. It was also submitted that Ntanzi does not have previous convictions and that he was at work when he was arrested for the Meyiwa murder.
However, the State’s lead prosecutor, advocate George Baloyi, opposed bail, arguing that the case against Ntanzi was strong and there were prospects of him absconding if released on bail.
Baloyi also submitted that the court has records from Ntanzi’s previous workplace, which show that he was not at work on the day Meyiwa was murdered.
He added that there are two confessions made by Ntanzi stipulating his involvement in the crime.
Ledwaba has reserved judgment in Ntanzi’s bid for release.
Ntanzi, accused number 2 in the high-profile murder case, is the man pinpointed by Meyiwa’s friend, Madlala, as one of the violent intruders on the night Meyiwa was fatally shot in Vosloorus, Gauteng.
Ntanzi, 32, did not have a criminal record before he was arrested for Meyiwa’s murder. He was nabbed in Rustenburg in 2020, where he worked in the mines.
In September, presiding Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela postponed the trial of the five men to today. The case is scheduled to run until December 2.
Meyiwa was killed on October 26, 2014, while in the company of his girlfriend and the mother of his child, Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus.
In the house, that day were Meyiwa, Kelly and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo (MaKhumalo), Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, Kelly’s then four-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.