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Meyiwa murder co-accused 'hints' on who will be pointed out by state witness

Mpho Koka Journalist
The five man accused of Senzo Meyiwa's murder on trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
The five man accused of Senzo Meyiwa's murder on trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Image: Antonio Muchave

One of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has hinted that state witness Tumelo Madlala might point out co-accused Mthobisi Prince Mncube as the man who entered Kelly Khumalo's home on the night of the soccer star's murder.

This emerged on Wednesday as the court proceedings in the North Gauteng High Court were wrapping up when Madlala was asked by prosecutor George Baloyi if the intruder at Khumalo's home on the night Meyiwa was killed is among five men currently on the dock.

The accused in the case are Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli. 

Baloyi was interjected by defence lawyers from asking Madlala to point out the intruder who came into the house with a firearm. 

However, in a light-hearted moment with his co-accused a few minutes later, as security were leading them to the court holding cells, Maphisa was overheard saying “I think he (Madlala) might point to Carlos (Mncube)”. Mncube looked unmoved by the statement while others giggled.  

Meanwhile, Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela is today expected to make a crucial decision on whether Madlala can point out the man who allegedly pulled the trigger.

Madlala, who was best friends with the deceased Bafana goalkeeper, stunned the courtroom when he said one of his friend's killers was among the five men standing trial for the October 2014 murder that shocked the country. 

Both defence lawyers Adv Timothy Thobane and Adv Zandile Mshololo stood up and objected to the prosecutor's question of whether he could identify any of the accused as the person who killed Meyiwa at his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo's home in Vosloorus. 

According to Madlala, the first intruder was carrying a firearm while the second one was not armed. 

Baloyi asked Madlala if the sketch showed in court fits the description of any of the five men in dock.

''Can you identify any of the current suspects present in court as the person who entered the house carrying the firearm?’’ asked Baloyi.

This prompted Mshololo and Thobane to immediately rise and object to the question, arguing no basis was laid for the question to be asked. 

As Baloyi was trying to rephrase the question, Madlala interjected and said: ''This is what I had a problem with yesterday (Tuesday). If I was allowed I would have explained yesterday. What annoyed me yesterday was to be in the same [court] room with the person [who entered the house carrying a firearm].’’

Judge Maumela cautioned Madlala and told him to answer the question he was being asked.

The court adjourned and agreed that Baloyi would present heads of arguments on Thursday to argue for the question to be asked.

If Baloyi is permitted to ask the question, this will be the first time that a witness in the trial will be allowed to point out the man who allegedly killed Meyiwa.

Criminal law expert Stephen Tuson said there was nothing wrong with the way Baloyi asked the question. 

''The question is permissible in all circumstances. You can't object to the question. The answer to the question has very little evidentiary weight on its own because the answer is not very credible. The accused is pointed out in the dock,” Tuson said.

“It is a highly suggestible situation. The witness could be mistaken. The answer to the question will only have weight or credibility if there is a prior, consistent statement from the witness. If the witness has previously identified the suspect in a statement, ID parade or in some other way then the answer in the dock is consistent with what he said repeatedly in the past.'' 

Earlier in the day, Madlala said after the incident he and the Khumalos immediately moved to a house in Mulbarton where the celebrity couple lived. Days later, music producer “Chicco” Twala paid them a visit and asked Khumalo to go on a holiday overseas.

However, Twala told Sowetan last night that his discussion about a holiday with Kelly was to give the singer some support as she was going through a difficult time after the death of her baby daddy.

“When Senzo died, no-one wanted Kelly. She was crying all the time. If you are rejected by the family of the father of your child, what would you do? I had to try and give her support,” Twala said.

The trial resumes on Thursday morning.

kokam@sowetan.co.za

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