×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Judge rules in favour of film firm in Senzo Meyiwa case

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela ruled that Ten10 Films can continue filming proceedings of the trial

Mpho Koka Journalist
Adv Malesela Teffo with five accused of 2014 murder of former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa during the trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Adv Malesela Teffo with five accused of 2014 murder of former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa during the trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

A Pretoria high court judge has ruled against Adv Malesela Teffo’s request for the production company that aired the Netflix documentary series on slain soccer star Senzo Meyiwa to be barred from filming the trial proceedings.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela ruled that Ten10 Films can continue filming proceedings of the trial.

He said neither the state nor the defence provided evidence that the production company is not a media house or had interfered with the proceedings in any way.

The resumption of the highly anticipated Meyiwa trial began with drama, with Teffo, who is representing four accused in the trial requesting Ten10 Films not to be allowed to record the proceedings.

“They are not a film production house. This is not a media house. They are not here for giving the public information or knowledge. They are here for profit. They are for money,” said Teffo.

On April 7, Netflix aired a five-part documentary series titled Senzo꞉ Murder of a Soccer Star. The series unpacks theories around what happened the night former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed in 2014.

Teffo said the airing of the documentary four days before the official start of the trial has “exposed his witnesses to harassment”.

“I was asked to watch the documentary by the witnesses for accused one to four. I did not want to watch it. I was convinced to watch it. My witnesses have complained to me that they have been exposed to serious threats, intimidation and harassment by the documentary. This production house should take their cameras and get out of here,’’ said Teffo.

Lawyer representing Ten Ten Films, Adv Ben Winks, was present in court and told the judge that he was not aware of the concerns raised by Teffo before the start of Monday’s proceedings.

Winks said Ten Ten Films had every right to film the trial proceedings because they are also part of the media.

“Documentary makers are members of the media. My client has not in any way interfered with the proceedings of this trial. There is no risk that has been posed by the documentary makers. We are being targeted and singled-out unfairly,’’ said Winks.

Prosecutor George Baloyi agreed with Teffo’s submission that Ten Ten Films be prohibited from broadcasting the proceedings.

Adv Zandile Mshololo, lawyer for accused number five,  declined to make any submissions on Teffo’s request.

Shortly after Maumela’s ruling, the cross-examination of the state’s first witness Sgt Thabo Mosia continued. Teffo presented Mosia with a copy of his statement and asked him to read it for himself before he proceeds with his cross — examination.

As Mosia was about to read it, Maumela adjourned the proceedings to Tuesday.

The trial resumed after its last sitting on April 28 where Teffo was dramatically arrested after failing to appear in court on assault and trespassing charges. Meyiwa was killed at his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus, on the East Rand, on October 26 2014.

The accused — Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli — face charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition.

They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.