Senzo Meyiwa trial: Cop ‘slapped’ suspect in the face after asking for ID during arrest, court told
Five men are on trial for the 2014 murder of former Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at Pretoria High Court on 17 July. Picture: Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe
The defence in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has argued Bongani Ntanzi was assaulted and that his constitutional rights were not explained to him when he was arrested.
On Tuesday, Sergeant Vusimuzi Mogane’s cross-examination continued in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where five men – including Ntanzi – are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.
Mogane, who is attached to the national cold case unit, has testified in his evidence-in-chief about his involvement in Ntanzi’s arrest.
Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, counsel for Ntanzi, grilled Mogane about his client’s version of events regarding his arrest in Phokeng, Rustenburg, on 16 June 2020.
“When he opened the door, you asked him if he was not Siyanda Buthelezi and then he was requested to bring his identity document,” the defence lawyer said.
Mogane rejected Mngomezulu’s claim, saying Ntanzi confirmed his identity himself.
“I wasn’t going to call him by another name because we already knew who he was. That is where the ID book comes in to confirm he is indeed Bongani Ntanzi,” the police officer replied.
The witness also said the suspect was lying about him asking the police to produce their IDs.
“The version of the accused is that when he requested you to produce the appointment certificate, Sergeant [Steven] Mabena slapped him with his open hand and told him he thought he was smart,” Mngomezulu told Mogane, who disagreed.
“I did not see that. The late Sergeant Mabena was not the assaulting type,” Mogane said.
Mngomezulu also said Ntanzi alleged when he was arrested, the police only informed him about Meyiwa’s murder and not the Nongoma murder case, which Mogane disputed.
“He will tell this court his rights were not explained handcuffs were just put on him,” the advocate said.
“I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this. I first told him his rights in English, I then reiterated in Setswana and in IsiZulu again,” Mogane responded.
‘Accused was going to be bored’
Earlier, Mogane denied that Ntanzi was assaulted after the police had visited the suspect’s workplace in Carletonville on 18 June to confirm his whereabouts on the day Meyiwa was killed.
Mngomezulu had questioned why his client spent about 17 hours with the police since he was booked out in the morning on the day in question.
The court heard that Ntanzi was booked back into the holding cells at a police station in Pretoria at 02:30 am on 19 June 2020.
According to Mogane, the police drove to Alberton with Ntanzi to investigate other cases after they went to Sibanye Gold Mine’s Driefontein shaft.
“When he asked him if he was okay going with us, he agreed because if he was taken back to the cell he was going to be locked up alone and was going to be bored,” the witness explained.
Mngomezulu told the officer that Ntanzi has alleged he was beaten up on their way to Alberton, but Mogane dismissed this suggestion.
Watch the trial below:
Meanwhile, Mogane also denied that Ntanzi was tortured and coerced into signing his confession statements the following day at the Moroka Police Station.
“On 19 June 2020, on the day of the alleged confession he was assaulted. [Jabulani] Buthelezi, [Wendell] Johnathan and Mabena were present in the tubing,” Mngomezulu put it to the officer.
“I do not accept that, he would have informed me if he was assaulted,” Mogane replied.
The state has claimed Ntanzi made a confession about his alleged involvement in Meyiwa’s murder at the station before Colonel Moholo Solomon Raphadu on 19 June 2020.
The second confession statement was taken down by Magistrate Vivian Cronje five days later.
The defence, however, has argued both confessions were made under duress.