Senzo Meyiwa murder accused supplied guns to hitmen, court hears
One of the suspects, Bongani Ntanzi, was described as a "quiet gentleman" and "well known" firearm supplier.
Accused number two Bongani Ntanzi at the Pretoria High Court on 15 September 2022. Picture: Gallo Images/Tebogo Letsie
Police dockets implicating the men accused of killing former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa came into sharp focus in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The murder trial was delayed due to a dispute between the state and defence over dockets involving alleged crimes committed by accused two, Bongani Ntanzi.
It was previously heard in court that Ntanzi was being investigated by the police in connection to Meyiwa’s murder when it was discovered that he was a suspect in a drug dealing case in Vosloorus and murder case in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) prior to his arrest on 16 June 2020.
On Tuesday, Ntanzi’s lawyer, Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu questioned how his client was implicated in the murder case.
“There’s only one statement [that mentions Bongani Ntanzi] by Simphiwe Buthelezi who talks about something he overheard,” the defence lawyer said.
The police’s lead investigator Brigadier Bongani Gininda disagreed, saying the statement made a mention of murders and firearms which then linked Ntanzi.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng asked the investigating officer to read Buthelezi’s statement into the record.
In the document, Buthelezi, who died in 2022, described Ntanzi as a “quiet gentleman” who was a “well known” firearm supplier and hitman.
The accused allegedly supplied guns used in a number of murder cases, particularly in KZN because there was a “high demand” in the province.
According to the statement, Buthelezi heard Ntanzi talking to his co-accused, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, over the phone about the murder of a “very powerful” union member in Marikana, North West, while visiting him.
Reading the statement, Gininda said: “I asked him [has] he also started killing people and he said to me it is a man’s job that he had to do because he needs money to make a better living. I warned him about it. Bongani used to keep a small quantity of firearms and ammunition in his room and the roof of his room.”
Buthelezi stated that he discovered that Ntanzi and his co-accused were implicated in Meyiwa’s murder in 2020.
The statement further revealed that Buthelezi was the person who took the police to Phokeng, where Ntanzi lived, thus, leading to his arrest.
Watch the trial below:
Meanwhile, Mngomezulu told Gininda that the police unlawfully arrested Ntanzi so they could solicit a confession from the accused.
The defence lawyer insisted that his client was interrogated about Meyiwa’s murder rather than the Nongoma murder case a day after his arrest.
But the investigating officer said the accused was questioned about different cases including the Nongoma matter.
A trial-within-a-trial has been taking place to determine the admissibility of confession statements, pointing out and warning statements by the accused in the main trial.
The state has claimed Ntanzi made a confession about his alleged involvement in Meyiwa’s murder at the station before Colonel Moholo Solomon Raphadu at the Moroka Police Station in Soweto on 19 June 2020.
Five days later, the second confession statement was taken down by Magistrate Vivian Cronje in the presence of his lawyer, Dominic Ntokozo Mjiyako, at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court.
The defence has, however, claimed that Ntanzi had no attorney present on the day and that the accused was tortured by law enforcement officers before the confession was made.
Ntanzi, Maphisa, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Mthobisi Mncube and Fisokuhle Ntuli are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.
The former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was fatally shot by armed intruders at the Vosloorus family home of his then-girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo, on 26 October 2014.
All five men have pleaded not guilty.
This article mistakenly stated that Ntanzi was convicted in regards to the Nongoma case. That part has been removed.