'She may be an artist but she has anxiety', court hears of Senzo Meyiwa murder witness

The court has heard how the next witness in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial is nervous about testifying in a room filled with cameras. File photo.
The court has heard how the next witness in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial is nervous about testifying in a room filled with cameras. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The prosecutor in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, George Baloyi, has argued that though the next witness is a performing artist, “away from the world of glitz and glamour, she is a normal witness with anxieties”.

He asked: “Why should this witness be castigated?”

The Pretoria high court is hearing argument on the application brought by the state on the witness's behalf on why she is against the broadcasting of her testimony.

The witness, who was among the people at the Vosloorus house where Meyiwa was shot dead in October 2014, is yet to be sworn in.

Meyiwa was gunned down in what has been 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.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are standing trial for the footballer's killing. 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.

Baloyi told the court that the witness wants to relate her story of how she saw the incident occur in a less intrusive atmosphere.

He argued that a witness should be given a choice whether they want to testify in front of cameras. The broadcast of proceedings has disadvantages, he said, adding that those who still have to testify can watch how witnesses are treated on the stand.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela asked Baloyi about an allegation on Monday that the witness was active on social media, communicating her take on the case. In response, Baloyi said the reason was due to an “onslaught” against her on social media. He said she was defending herself.

Meanwhile, disbarred advocate Malesela Teffo again disrupted the proceedings, wanting to address the court, and had a heated exchange with Maumela.

Teffo, who had asked advocate Zandile Mshololo to tell the court that he had a watching brief, stood up soon after Mshololo finished. 

“It is a rude interruption which is unnecessary. There’s no watch brief who has interrupted proceedings,” the judge said.

Teffo, who continued to interrupt Maumela, said he had also been instructed to be in court by Meyiwas's brother, Sifiso, and the football club which the slain footballer was signed to, Orlando Pirates. 

“Sit down. If you address me, I request the court orders to take you out,” Maumela said.

Teffo finally sat down after the court's protection services moved closer.

Arguments continue.


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