Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Neighbour testifies about hearing gunshots on the night Senzo Meyiwa was killed

Nthabiseng Pertunia Mokete testified on what she saw on the evening the soccer star was shot and killed in 2014.

A third state witness has taken the stand in the trial of the five men accused of killing Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana skipper Senzo Meyiwa.

Senzo Meyiwa murder trial

The witness, Nthabiseng Pertunia Mokete, a neighbour of the Khumalos, testified on Wednesday before the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on what she saw on the evening the soccer star was killed in 2014.

Meyiwa was fatally shot on 26 October during an alleged botched robbery at the family home of his then-lover, Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg.

ALSO READ: Neighbour testifies he was ‘shocked and traumatised’ by Senzo Meyiwa’s murder

Mokete’s evidence comes after the state’s second witness, Khaya Ngcatshe, also a neighbour of the Khumalos, concluded his cross-examination by defence lawyers.

What happened?

Mokete testified that on the night of the tragedy, she was staying at her sister’s, Mary Phiri’s, house, located opposite the Ngcatshe residence.

Mokete and her friend, Yolanda, were sitting in Yolanda’s car parked on the street, with Yolanda’s one-year-old child also present in the vehicle.

According to Mokete’s testimony, they heard a loud bang, which they believed to be a gunshot. Shortly afterward, they saw a person fleeing from the Khumalo house, running in the direction of a nearby park.

The person appeared to be a lean-built man wearing pants. The time of these events was after 8pm on that fateful day.

“I got scared and said to Yolanda that is a sound of a gun. A few moments later, a person went past the car. That person was running towards the park,” Mokete said.

Alarmed by the gunshot sound, Mokete and Yolanda debated whether it was indeed a gunshot they heard. As they were discussing, they heard another gunshot, and two other people ran towards the person who had fled towards the park.

Third gunshot

Fearing for their safety, Mokete suggested they leave the car, but before they could do so, Yolanda opened the car door to check the situation outside. By that time, the people they had seen earlier had already run down the street, and a third gunshot was fired.

Mokete and Yolanda then decided to leave the car and found Kelly Khumalo’s sister, Zandile, desperately screaming for help and urging them to call an ambulance for Meyiwa. Zandile rushed towards their parked car as they prepared to leave.

“I remember her [Zandile] telling me to call the ambulance because she saw that I was coming out of the car.

RELATED: ‘No one among us killed Senzo’: Zandile Khumalo sticks to her story in Meyiwa murder trial

“She screamed saying call the ambulance Senzo has been shot. As she was screaming, she was approaching the gate towards where my friend had parked her car.”

Witness gripped with fear

With the child in her arms, Mokete was gripped with fear and thought it best to run as well. They quickly made their way into their own yard.

Yolanda, however, entered the Khumalos’ house to assess the situation while Mokete and Zandile went to seek help from Mary Phiri, Mokete’s sister.

Once inside the house, Mokete informed Phiri about the shooting and Zandile’s plea to call an ambulance. Although she couldn’t recall if they made the call, Mokete remembers placing the child on the carpet before deciding to leave the house and follow Zandile.

As they stepped outside, they saw people surrounding Meyiwa, who was being carried to a BMW X6 parked nearby, with the intention of rushing him to the hospital.

Mokete and Yolanda then got into their car and followed the vehicle to the nearby Botshelong-Empilweni Hospital in Vosloorus.

The trial continues.

NOW READ: ‘He was lying face up’- Second state witness testifies in Meyiwa murder trial

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