Cop denies Meyiwa accused's torture claim

Sibiya refused to lay a charge, says Brig Gininda

Muzi Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi during the trial in North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Muzi Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi during the trial in North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Lead investigator in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial says there was no basis to refer allegations of assault by police on one of the accused to the police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). 

Advocate Zandile Mshololo, representing one of the accused asked why the matter was not referred to IPID.

“A case gets registered at a police station and once we (the police) are sitting with a docket, you realise that there was a violation of rights by police officials ... you [then] refer the matter to Ipid. [However], it does not mean that when someone alleges that they were assaulted before you even take a statement, you refer them to Ipid. This is when there is a registered statement, a formal complaint under oath, said Gininda.

He said Sibiya had refused to make a statement about the alleged torture. 

“I made my own inquiries, drove to the prison and there was no proof that there was such assault,” he said.

In October, Sibiya claimed that he was assaulted and tortured by police who forced him to sign a pre-written confession. He also told the court he soiled himself during the assault.

Mshololo tried to push the question: “So, this case was never referred to Ipid to investigate those [police] members?”

“There was no case, that’s the point I am making, Gininda responded.

The Pretoria high court is hearing a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of two confession statements, a pointing-out process and warning statements. 

While questioning the manner in which the police obtained the confession, Mshololo asked why there was a sudden rush to take the confession.

Bongani Ntanzi, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are on trial for the murder of footballer Senzo Meyiwa. Meyiwa was shot dead at his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s home in Vosloorus on October 26 2014.

Mshololo asked: Why was accused number 1 [Sibiya] not taken to the magistrate to make the statement?

Gininda responded: My lord, it was Saturday. I met him around 7pm. I am not sure that you can find a magistrate at that time. It was in the interest of justice that, when such information comes to you, you must collect it as professionally and adequately as you can to help build a state case.

Mshololo said the statement was taken from 9pm until midnight when it was completed as the accused was supposed to be sleeping at that time.

Gininda said he didn't know Sibiyas sleeping patterns.

The court had also previously heard from Sgt Batho Mogola that although Sibiya had made the allegations, he refused to undergo a medical examination and to open a case against the police.

Mshololo is expected to continue with her cross-examination today.

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