Proceedings at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial got off to a dramatic start on Monday morning, after musician Kelly Khumalo’s lawyer was instructed to leave the courtroom.
Magdalene Moonsamy was watching on at the trial, but the defence raised objections to her presence in court.
Five men accused of the murder of the former Bafana Bafana captain returned to the Pretoria High Court as the trial resumed, almost eight years after Meyiwa was shot and killed while visiting Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus in October 2014.
Khumalo was Meyiwa’s then-girlfriend at the time of the murder.
Last week, a lawyer representing four of the five men told the court the presence of Khumalo’s lawyer conducting a watching brief made him uncomfortable.
A watching brief happens when a lawyer follows a case on behalf of a client who is not directly involved in a trial.
Advocate Malesela Teffo objected to Moonsamy’s presence because Khumalo was named as a victim of robbery with aggravating circumstances in one of the charges the men face.
Teffo argued that Moonsamy’s client was a potential witness in the trial and could be called to testify.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela agreed with him and told Moonsamy to excuse herself.
“The client of the watching brief has an interest in the matter. For me, she would have had an interest in all that has been said,” he said.
Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Muzikawukhulelwa Sthemba Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Ncube, and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa face a string of charges over the 2014 murder.
They have been charged with murder, attempted murder for allegedly shooting at Zandile Khumalo – Kelly Khumalo’s sister – on the night Meyiwa was killed, robbery with aggravating circumstances for allegedly taking a Samsung phone, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.
All five of the accused men have pleaded not guilty to the five charges presented to them.