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Drama at Meyiwa trial as Adv Teffo 'forces his way to chambers' to see judge Maumela

Mpho Koka Journalist
Adv Malesela Teffo, who previously represented accused one to four in the trial at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.
Adv Malesela Teffo, who previously represented accused one to four in the trial at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.
Image: Antonio Muchave

The resumption of the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial on Thursday was marred by drama as police were called into the courtroom after Adv Malesela Teffo allegedly forced his way to see the judge in his chambers.

Teffo, who previously represented accused one to four in the trial, entered the courtroom shortly before the start of the trial.

Initially, he was seen having light-hearted conversations with the prosecutor and defence lawyers.

Shortly thereafter, Teffo, the prosecutor, defence counsel and court registrars were seen in a huddle having what looked like a heated conversation.

Teffo then left the group and was seen walking in the direction of judge Tshifhiwa Maumela’s chambers.

Lawyer for accused five Adv Zandile Mshololo was heard saying: ''Call the security. He is here to fight the judge.’’

Several police officers then walked into the courtroom and went to the judge’s chambers. A few minutes later, police came back to the courtroom and Maumela followed.

Maumela said he was confused as to why the start of the trial was delayed.

''My delay in coming here is because of mixed messages I got. I got a message that you all want to see me. As I was waiting for all of you, I got another message that one advocate wants to see me. I was told that some of you, if not all of you, do not want that advocate to see me. That is why I am here with a contingency of protectors. This creates frictions in this trial,’’ Maumela told the group.

Prosecutor George Baloyi said neither he nor the lawyers of the accused expressed any intention to see the judge.

''The three of us never expressed any intention to see the judge. The advocate requested to see the judge in court chambers and we told the advocate it was not necessary,’’ said Baloyi.

Adv Timothy Thobane, representing accused one to four, said: “I confirm what Adv Baloyi is saying. We do not know the reasons why the said advocate wants to see you and we do not want to know. We are not part of what he wants to see the judge about.’’

Mshololo said Teffo was hellbent on seeing the judge. ''We were approached by advocate Teffo and he indicated that he wants to see the judge with us. We told him there is no need. He [Teffo] said we cannot proceed until he sees the judge, that is when we called security. We even suggested that he sent an email to the registrar but he refused and said he is going to see judge by force.”

Baloyi told Maumela that Teffo said he wants to see the judge regarding the controversial second docket in the case.

Maumela then ruled that the trial can proceed with the testimony of the state’s third witness, Tumelo Madlala.

Meyiwa was killed at his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s family 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.

The trial continues.

kokam@sowetan.co.za

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