Senzo Meyiwa murder accused found guilty of possession of drugs, ammunition
The case was postponed to 18 January 2024 for Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya's sentencing.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya (L) in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at Pretoria High Court on 17 July. Picture: Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe
One of the five men accused of murdering former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been found guilty of two charges in a drug related case.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya returned to the dock in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to learn of his fate.
The case had been postponed earlier this month due to Magistrate Jerome Josephs being unwell.
Sibiya was charged with dealing in drugs dating back to 2019.
He was nabbed in 2020 and during his arrest, live rounds of ammunition, one magazine and a cleaning rod were discovered at his shack in Tembisa.
He was subsequently charged for being in possession of unlicensed ammunition.
Delivering his judgment, Josephs noted the dispute regarding the events of Sibiya’s initial arrest.
The police testified Sibiya had packs of heroin when they searched him while patrolling in Tembisa.
However, Sibiya denied this, claiming that no drugs were found on him nor did he sell any.
The accused also argued he was arrested and interrogated about Meyiwa’s murder instead during his second arrest and no ammunition was discovered by the police.
“The only common cause in this case is that the accused was arrested on 19th of March 2019 for dealing or possession of an undesirable dependence-producing substance called heroin. He was also arrested a year later on the 30th of May 2020 on J50 warrant of arrest with a second charge added of possession of ammunition that was the only common cause between the parties.
“The version of the prosecution witnesses was and is irreconcilable with the version of the accused. There’s a factual dispute between the version of the accused and that of the state witness if the accused was dealing or had in his possession any drugs or that he was in possession of ammunition. The version is mutually destructive to each other. The allegation by the state witness were outright denied by the accused,” Josephs said.
The magistrate pointed out that the state conceded that on the main count of dealing in drugs, it has not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Sibiya was indeed selling heroin on the day of his arrest.
“With this, their position and argument is still that they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was in possession of substance called heroin,” he continued.
Josephs said he was satisfied the drugs contained in the evidence bag before the court was the same substance, thus, rejecting the defence’s argument that it wasn’t.
He further dismissed the argument advanced by the defence that Sibiya was only arrested to be questioned on Meyiwa’s death on the day ammunition was found in his shack.
In light of this, the magistrate found Sibiya guilty on two counts including possession of drugs and the illegal possession of ammunition.
The suspect was acquitted on the charge of selling drugs.
The case was postponed 18 January 2024 for Sibiya’s sentencing.
Sibiya assaulted on day of arrest
It has previously been heard in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where Sibiya is on trial for Meyiwa’s murder, that the suspect was arrested near his residence in Tembisa on 30 May 2020.
A police officer testified that Sibiya was allegedly on the verge of confessing to Meyiwa’s murder a few hours after his arrest when she stopped to read the accused his rights.
However, the defence in the Meyiwa trial has claimed he was assaulted by the police to a point where he “messed himself up” during his arrest.
According to Sibiya’s version of events, three police officers took him to his place of residence to find his uncle because he had the keys to the shack, but when they did not find the relative they took him to Lethabong.
Attempted murder case
Sibiya is already serving 12 years for attempted murder.
In April last year, the suspect was convicted of attempted murder of Ntombenhle Ndaba and Mfanelo Mbatha after he randomly opened fire on them, but they survived the shooting.
The Vosloorus Magistrate’s Court declared Sibiya unfit to be in possession of a firearm.