‘My evidence is not confused’ – More delays in Senzo Meyiwa trial
The trial will resume on Thursday morning.
Five accused men in the Senzo Mayiwa murder trial stand in the dock at Pretoria High Court on 17 July 2023. Picture: Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe
The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has been adjourned until Thursday after the defence could not continue to cross-examine the state’s witness.
The trial resumed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday after it had been postponed due to one of the accused, Fisokuhle Ntuli, falling ill.
Zungu’s testimony placed all the accused at a hostel in Vosloorus on 26 October 2014, when Meyiwa was killed.
The police officer was visiting his brother’s son, Gwabini Zungu, at the time.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli are on trial for former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s murder and pleaded not guilty.
‘Accused three also walked in’
Continuing with the cross-examination on Wednesday, Advocate Charles Mnisi, for Mncube, questioned Zungu’s version of events of how he met the accused at the hostel.
“So it was by mistake in your evidence-in-chief you told this court upon your arrival accused number one, two, three and five were already there?” Mnisi asked.
Zungu, in his response, dismissed Mnisi’s suggestion.
“When I got there I did not check who was there because many people were there. But the person I managed to see was accused one, accused two and accused five. Some introductions were made and, at the time, accused three also walked in,” the witness said.
Zungu had previously revealed he was introduced to the accused by Gwabini.
He testified he ate braai meat and drank alcohol with the accused during the day.
The police officer also claimed he was suspicious of the men since two of them were armed after they rushed back to the hostel from elsewhere later in the evening.
Mnisi also quizzed Zungu about the attire the accused wore on the day Meyiwa was killed.
“You have told this court accused one had gained weight, wore Adidas trousers. What was accused two wearing?” the advocate asked.
“He was wearing long tracksuit pants. I don’t remember the colour,” Zungu responded.
On Mncube’s clothes, Zungu said he was wearing a lime t-shirt and a necklace.
“Before he left he was wearing a brown jacket,” he explained.
The witness, however, said he could not remember what Maphisa wore while Ntuli had a white vest and a military hat on.
Mnisi then pointed out how Zungu initially said Ntanzi was with them when they went to buy alcohol from a Spar Tops, but now he does not name him among the people he was with.
“In your evidence in chief, you told this court that when you went out to buy liquor, it was yourself, accused two, accused three and [in total there] were five people in the vehicle you used. Now you are saying you went out with accused three, a gentleman named Mthoko, who is not accused four and others. Was it again a mistake?”
But Zungu insisted Ntanzi and Mncube were with him on the ride to the store.
“My evidence is not confused,” he claimed.
Watch proceedings below:
Following a short adjournment, Mnisi said he could not continue with the cross-examination without the photos downloaded from his client’s phone.
“I am hamstrung to continue with cross-examination without further information relating to the photos.”
Mnisi said while a large number of pictures were downloaded, only a few from the photo album compiled by the investigators were shown in court so far.
“There are other photos as well. Remember “Mr [Thabo] Mosia only brought eight photos to court, but it then transpired he took that more than 30 photos at the crime scene.
“I am going to request that we be furnished with the disc that contains all the photos that were downloaded from accused three’s phone. Alternatively, we want to be furnished with his phone,” the advocate said.
State prosecutor, George Baloyi confirmed that specific images were selected and would make arrangements for the defence to receive the photo album as well as the phone in the presence of the cellphone analyst.
Baloyi also indicated that Ntanzi and Ntuli’s phones were confiscated and data has been retrieved from them.
Judge Ratha Mokgatlheng postponed the trial, which will resume on Thursday.