'Senzo Meyiwa's death was celebrated with whisky': witness tells court

The Pretoria high court has heard how one of the five men accused of killing the soccer star announced the news of his passing at Sotho hostel in Vosloorus before word of his murder got out

The late soccer star Senzo Meyiwa's death was announced by one of the accused before it even made official news, a witness has told the court. File photo.
The late soccer star Senzo Meyiwa's death was announced by one of the accused before it even made official news, a witness has told the court. File photo.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

A state witness testified that after Senzo Meyiwa was murdered on October 26 2014, one of the five men accused of killing him announced his death at a get-together at a hostel that same night, before word got out.

Constable Sizwe Skhumbuzo Zungu placed all five men at Vosloorus hostel before and after the murder - confirming that they know each other.

Meyiwa's death was celebrated with a bottle of whisky that night, Zungu told the Pretoria high court.

The direct words uttered by Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya the night of the murder, he said, were: “Have you heard that Meyiwa is no more?”

The accused hails from KwaZulu-Natal. He testified that he knew some of them from there and recognised others from the hostel.

Zungu's name had been omitted from the witness list prior to him taking the stand, due to a security risk assessment.

Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are accused of killing the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates star. They face charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravated circumstances, possession of firearms without a license and possession of ammunition.

Zungu testified that on the day, he had earlier spent time with his nephew Gwabini Zungu, family members and the accused, drinking and having fun. Later, he saw them entering the hostel in a hurry in the evening.

A police officer attached to the visible policing unit at Sebenza SAPS in Edenvale with 12 years of service, Zungu confirmed that he knew all five accused.

He said he knows Sibiya, whom he referred to as Muzi, and Ntanzi, whom he referred to as Mafika, from back home in Nongoma.

He said he saw Mncube most of the time in Gauteng but first saw him in Vosloorus.

“Mthokozisi (Maphisa), I remember him from Vosloorus but not from back home. Nkani (Ntuli), I also saw him in Vosloorus.”

Zungu testified that he had been in the prese

nce of all the men on Sunday October 26 2014 having fun, drinking, dancing and eating meat at the hostel.

“I think it was between 2pm and 3pm. I won't be able to remember the exact time. If I remember well, there were many people. Accused 1, 2,3 were there, and accused 5 was there upon my arrival,” he said. 

On being referred to pictures downloaded from Mncube's phone, Zungu pointed out pictures identifying himself, Mncube, Maphisa, Ntanzi and Ntuli.

Zungu testified that later that day, between 7.30pm and  8.30pm, as he was seated in the main room of the hostel - which is the common area - Sibiya, Ntuli and Mncube came in, following one another.

He said before that he had not seen them for a short while, stating that it was busy on the day.

“It was visible that they were in shock and they were fast going into Gwabini's room,” he said.

Continuing, he said upon following them into the bedroom, the light was switched off and switched on again.

He said when he entered the room, Mncube and Sibiya were in possession of firearms.

According to Zungu, Sibiya was carrying a 38 revolver while Mncube was carrying a 9mm pistol.

The court has already heard from several witnesses that the shot that killed Meyiwa was fired from a 9mm gun found on Mncube when he was arrested on a separate matter in Cleveland, Johannesburg, in 2015 — a year after Meyiwa's killing. 

In panic, Zungu asked for his service firearm, which was also a 9mm as he was suspcious there was something amiss.

Zungu said they were handing the firearms to Gwabini.

“Accused 2 then went out because he heard me shouting at Gwabini and he walked out in front of me,” he said.

He also testified that he noticed Ntanzi outside, who had been wearing a black hoodie, and had now changed into a grey hoodie.

“I then noticed that he had changed jackets an

d was now wearing a grey jacket from [the] black [one]. He then looked at me from underneath the jacket as to whether I could see him. He then went to the same room where the others were,” said Zungu.

Ntanzi has already been fingered twice by eyewitnesses who identified him as one of the intruders who entered the Vosloorus home on the night of the murder.

Further, the witnesses said the second tall intruder wore a hoodie.

Zungu testified that before he left, Sibiya, who had on a red shirt, took it off, rolling it on his hand.

“He grabbed something to stand on and he was carrying a bottle in his hand. He then asked: ‘have you heard that Meyiwa is no more?’”

He said while others remarked in shock, he disputed what he said, took his phone out to check on social media.

Zungu said he only saw news of Meyiwa's passing the following day .

He said on that night he left with Sibiya and two others, stating that he went and dropped Sibiya off.

Zungu has also told the court that he was threatened by the family of Sibiya and Ntuli.

Cross-examination of Zungu is expected to start on Friday.


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