WATCH: DCS warns it will act if accused in Senzo Meyiwa murder trial fail to behave
The DCS condemned a fisticuff in court where the accused attacked a Correctional Services official.
The accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial. Picture: X/@SimplyCowboy
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said it will not hesitate to act if the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial fail to behave themselves in court.
The DCS condemned a fisticuff during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial where the co-accused attacked a Correctional Services official.
The trial resumed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday where five men – Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli – are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.
Watch the scuffle in court
A scuffle broke out between prison official and the accused during the short break, at the Senzo Meyiwa Trial. Reason: the warder was not happy with the seating arrangement. Punches thrown but no injuries reported. #SenzoMeyiwaTrial #SenzoMeyiwa #KellyKhumalo pic.twitter.com/8C7rTWjAQ6— sharing_is_caring2023 (@SharingC2023) November 27, 2023
During the proceedings, a fight broke out between a prison warden and Mncube, Maphisa and Ntuli as the court took a break from Sergeant Vusimuzi Mogane’s cross-examination by the defence.
It is understood the scuffle broke out when a warder flagged the informal manner in which the accused were seated during the tea adjournment.
ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘Sizokushaya’- Scuffle breaks out in court during Senzo Meyiwa trial
DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said Correctional Services commissioner Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale has condemned the incident.
“Such utter disrespect will not be tolerated and the department is looking into the incident. Correctional officials rendering escort and guarding responsibilities do so on behalf of the state. Hence, any form of unbecoming behaviour warrants a security review so as to ensure the safety of those in closer proximity to the inmates.”
Nxumalo said if those escorted to court have complaints and issues to raise, they must follow and adhere to established processes and channels within DCS and not resort to undermining security at court, which will “not be tolerated in any way whatsoever”.
“Failure by the accused persons to behave themselves calls for the Department of Correctional Services to act and it will do so without hesitation. The accused are sentenced for other offences; hence the escort and guarding duties are rendered by DCS,” said Nxumalo.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng called for the decorum of the court to be respected following the scuffle, likening the clash to the conduct in Parliament.
“I once saw a president being rushed by certain parliamentarians to such an extent that there were alarms at Parliament and the security had to go assist the president because they were under the impression that he was being attacked,” said Mokgoatlheng.