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Suspect in Senzo Meyiwa killing jailed for attempted murder on eve of trial for footballer's killing

Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in 2014 in Vosloorus at the home of his then-girlfriend, singer and actress Kelly Khumalo.
DD051119 Senzo Meyiwa Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in 2014 in Vosloorus at the home of his then-girlfriend, singer and actress Kelly Khumalo.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

The trial of the five men accused of footballer Senzo Meyiwa’s murder eight years ago resumes on Monday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, with four of them expected to enter a special plea, says AfriForum.

They are Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifikuhle Nkani Ntuli Sifiso and they are being charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has meanwhile announced that one of the accused, Sibiya, was on Thursday sentenced by the Vosloorus magistrate’s court to 12 years' direct imprisonment in a separate matter.

The court declared him unfit to possess a firearm after he was convicted for the attempted murder of Ntombenhle Ndaba and Mfanelo Mbatha, who he attacked in a hail of bullets. The two miraculously survived.

Sibiya was also accused of shooting his girlfriend in December 2014 after she threatened to blow the whistle on him for his alleged involvement in the murder of Meyiwa, which he had apparently confided to her.

“The NPA welcomes the conviction and sentence and believes that 12 years' imprisonment fits the crime of attempted murder,” the NPA said.

Sibiya's father Mandla was a traditional leader at Basuthwini Hostel in Vosloorus. According to media reports, Meyiwa's murder was allegedly planned at the hostel.

Sibiya had previously lived with his father and three cousins in a three-bedroom unit in the hostel, the Sunday Times reported.

South Africans' interest in the Meyiwa trial has been reignited by the release of a Netflix documentary about the goalkeeper's killing. The five-part series explores the accounts of eyewitnesses and how it took eight years for the alleged hitmen to go on trial.

The series also features exclusive interviews with Meyiwa’s family members, sports broadcaster Robert Marawa, former Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya and advocate Gerrie Nel. The documentary takes a rollercoaster ride through the years after his death. It is already among the most popular on Netflix and has sparked a huge conversation on social media.

The trial is scheduled to get under way a few weeks after AfriForum’s private prosecution unit expressed concern that there may be a conflict of interest regarding the lawyer appointed to represent four of the men.

When the accused appeared in the high court for a pretrial hearing in March, four of the five accused told the court they had appointed Malesela Teffo as their advocate. But Teffo had previously represented the slain footballer’s brother Sifiso Meyiwa when he pursued justice for Senzo.

The former Bafana-Bafana goalkeeper was gunned down in October 2014 in what was described as a botched robbery in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, in the presence of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, her mother Ntombi, sister Zandi, Zandi’s boyfriend Longwe Twala and his friends Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala.

AfriForum, which is representing Senzo’s mother Ntombifuthi and his sisters Zama and Nomalanga Meyiwa, said this development could lead to further delays in the trial.

At the pretrial, AfriForum said Teffo had indicated that the four accused intended to bring a special plea on Monday.


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