Meyiwa trial bogged down in notes tangle

Witness travels to KZN for shredded scribblings

Prosecutor George Baloyi during the Senzo Meyiwa trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Prosecutor George Baloyi during the Senzo Meyiwa trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The North Gauteng High Court has been told that the handwritten notes by state witness Cst Sizwe Zungu do not exist as they have been shredded.  

State prosecutor George Baloyi told the court that the notes had been shredded. The notes were allegedly used to compile Zungu's statement that allegedly contained details about how he was in the company of all the five accused during the night of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa’s murder in October 2016. 

“The investigating officer informs me that the notes were destroyed after the statement was made, therefore, the notes are not available,” Baloyi said. 

The court had adjourned early on Friday to allow Zungu to travel to KZN to obtain the notes.  

Upon his return to the witness stand on Monday, Zungu was asked by judge Ratha Mokgoathleng whether he had travelled to KZN as per the court’s request, Zungu said he did but did not find the notes. 

“Yes I did go down to KZN but I did not find the notes. The only thing I found was the statement I had rectified,” he said. 

Judge Mokgoathleng then suggested that the court should interrogate whether there were two affidavits under oath. 

Baloyi then corrected the judge and explained that the witness was referring to notes and not a statement. 

“What is in existence is notes and not the statement. The witness has finished giving his evidence-in-chief and has been cross-examined by Mr Sipho Ramosepele. The witness mentions that he only had notes that he used to write his statement and that there were mistakes with regard to the sequence of events and the names of the witnesses, particularly with regard to paragraph 5,” he said. 

Baloyi then explained that accused number three, Mthobisi Mncube’s name should have been inserted in the paragraph and not accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli’s name. He also said that the court should continue Zungu’s cross-examination on the basis of his statement and that anything else would be subject to the credibility findings of his testimony. 

However, defence lawyer Charles Mnisi argued that Zungu himself had mentioned in court that there was a statement that he had written and initialled. 

“The court had made an order that there should be some kind of escapade to go to KwaZulu-Natal to look for those notes. We had an opportunity to go and have a listen, to hear what the records insofar as Mr Zungu’s testimony on this aspect of the inquiry is concerned. I may say without any fear of self-contradiction that what we have been maintaining is confirmed by what is stated in the record. 

“I am going to request the court to consider actually listening to exactly what Zungu said about the statement. We are not requesting notes. We based our request on the basis of Zungu’s very own testimony about the statement,” he said. 

Defence lawyer Zandile Mshololo said that the court should listen to the records, arguing that the statement had been disclosed only last week, causing prejudice towards her client. 

The trial continues on Tuesday. 

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