Meyiwa's friend does not remember telling sketch artist of 'old revolver'

Five men accused of murdering Bafana Bafana player Senzo Meyiwa are being tried for the 2014 crime.
Five men accused of murdering Bafana Bafana player Senzo Meyiwa are being tried for the 2014 crime.

Senzo Meyiwa's close friend and witness to his murder, Mthokozisi Thwala, says he does not remember describing an “old revolver” as the weapon the first intruder had on the night the soccer star was shot dead.

Thwala said this during his cross-examination by the lawyer representing Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Charles Mnisi, at the Pretoria high court on Wednesday. 

Mnisi introduced a sketch plan compiled by artist Amanda Steenkamp on December 29 2014. 

Meyiwa was gunned down in what was described as a botched robbery in the presence of his then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, her mother Ntombi, sister Zandi, Zandi’s boyfriend Longwe Twala and Senzo’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala at his girlfriend's Vosloorus home on October 26 2014.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are on trial for the murder of the footballer. They have been charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition. All have pleaded not guilty.

The sketch showed that Thwala had described to the artist that the first intruder had a weapon which he described as an “old revolver”.

This is despite him failing to describe in court during cross-examination what kind of a gun he saw except saying it was “small”.  However, Thwala said he does not remember giving that description to Steenkamp.

“I don't remember saying an old revolver, I don't even know what an old revolver is,” he said.

When asked if there was a possibility he could have told Steenkamp about the old revolver and might have forgotten, Thwala said “no”. Thwala suggested to the court that there was a possibility that Steenkamp might have noted it down without him saying that.

“That's something I would have remembered. I don't remember saying it, which means I never said it,” he emphasised.

Thwala described the first intruder as “medium brown”, estimating his age at 29 to 32. He said the whites of the intruder's eyes were red. 

Earlier, Mnisi had asked Thwala why he had said the first intruder had a gun as he had failed to describe it during cross-examination. Thwala replied: “Because I saw it.”

According to Thwala, there were six people in the kitchen when the gun that killed Meyiwa went off.

“I remember Zandi, her mother, Senzo, gunman, Tumelo and the second intruder,” he said.

Counting with his fingers, with a smile Thwala said: “They were six, that I could recall.”

Mnisi put it to Thwala that Zandi Khumalo would testify that on the night, a suspect wielding a firearm came into the house when they were seated.

“Then Longwe jumped towards the suspect and pushed him to the side and went outside. Then Kelly ran to the bedroom which was next to the kitchen and the second suspect followed her. Then Kelly closed the door and the suspect tried to open the door,” Mnisi said.

However, Thwala refused to comment on this, saying that Zandi should explain to the court.

Mnisi said Zandi would tell the court that she,  Meyiwa, Thwala, Madlala and Kelly’s mother went to the first intruder who was carrying a firearm and pushed him to the kitchen door. This is despite Thwala testifying he was not involved in the scuffle.

According to Thwala's testimony, those involved in the scuffle were Meyiwa, Madlala, the two intruders, Zandi and Kelly’s mother.

The trial continues on Thursday.


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