Prison warden opens assault case against Senzo Meyiwa murder accused
AfriForum's Gerrie Nel, who was on a watching brief for the Meyiwa family, warns that the matter should not be taken lightly.
Five accused men in the Senzo Mayiwa murder trial leave the dock in the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe
A prison warden has opened a case of assault against three of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial following an altercation on Monday.
Vusi Jele opened the case against Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli, the SAPS confirmed on Wednesday.
During the proceedings on Monday, a fight broke out between the prison warden and the trio, as the court took a break from the defence’s cross-examination of Sergeant Vusimuzi Mogane.
Mncube’s lawyer, Advocate Charles Mnisi, said his client was trying to defend himself from “this huge gentleman”.
“He hit accused number three with his shoulder. I don’t know how it started, but that is what I saw,” he said.
After consulting his client, Mnisi told the court Mncube informed him the accused usually stood up to stretch during breaks and the guard “did not take kind to that”.
He is saying that in each case that the gentleman is here in court, he would command them to sit as they are seated now as if the court is still in process. But today what happened specifically, was he approached them again and said to them they should sit down. According to accused number three, he told them if they didn’t want to comply with his instructions, he was going to hit them.
“Then they said ‘but this is an adjournment, we are entitled to stretch our legs because we have been sitting for more than two hours’ so he did not take kind to that and he started to hit him with a shoulder,” the defence lawyer explained.
Mnisi added that the accused were not retaliating, but trying to block the blows.
AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel, who was on a watching brief for the Meyiwa family, said the matter should not be taken lightly.
“I think it is very serious. An altercation with a prison warden in the execution of his duties… absolutely serious. That’s why we’re here in the main, we will provide our services if they’re needed,” he told the SABC.
Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa