Dentist denies exceeding scope in examining Senzo Meyiwa murder accused
Witnesses present at the scene of Senzo Meyiwa's murder testified that one of the intruders had a gold tooth.
Accused number two, Bongani Ntanzi, at the Pretoria High Court on 15 September 2022. Picture: Gallo Images/Tebogo Letsie
A dentist has refuted allegations of exceeding the permissible examination limits while assessing one of the five men accused of killing former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
On Friday, the state called its last witness to testify in the trial-within-a-trial, which has been taking place to determine the admissibility of confession statements, pointing out and warning statements by the accused in the main trial.
Dr Thabang Hlokwe took the stand in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to give evidence relating to accused two, Bongani Ntanzi.
It was previously heard in court that Ntanzi was taken to a dentist on 22 June 2020.
The medical report of his dentist visit had been presented by the defence as an alibi to argue the state’s evidence that the accused appeared at the Tlhabane Magistrate’s Court on the same day.
Sergeant Vusumuzi Mogane testified that the reason the police took Ntanzi, who was arrested on 16 June, to the dentist was to determine if he ever had a gold tooth as it was alleged that one of the intruders on the day Meyiwa was shot and killed had one.
During proceedings, Hlokwe, in his evidence-in-chief, told the court that he usually examines a patient “from the waist up”, with a particular focus on the head, neck and oral cavity.
“Being more specific, we look from the waist up if the patient shows any sort of disabilities or if the person has been hurt from an inspection point of view, not a proper examination,” the witness said on Friday.
“If we check the whole body from the waist up and we see anything that’s not within our scope, we refer the patient to [other medical practitioners],” Hlokwe continued.
Hlokwe testified that Ntanzi arrived at the Tlhabane Community Health Centre in North West accompanied by the police and a prison warden.
“The policemen went outside and kept the door a little bit open. They told us to quickly run to the door if we having any issues because in any protocol a state prisoner is not supposed to be left alone with an outside citizen without guard,” he told the court.
The witness said he was asked by the police to check whether Ntanzi had a gold tooth.
He indicated that the accused had a molar and premolars removed in the past.
“In this case, the patient didn’t have any allergies,” Hlokwe said, adding that Ntanzi informed him that he had a minor heart disease.
“The patient couldn’t elaborate further on that. [He] said [he was] not taking any medication for that so we just noted it down because it’s something we have to take into consideration if we going to treat the patient.”
Ntanzi also told him that he did not suffer from lung diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), any bleeding disorder, diabetes, kidney problems and high blood pressure nor did he smoke.
Hlokwe said Ntanzi appeared normal and had no abnormalities.
“The patient really looked pretty much normal at the state of being examined.”
The dentist revealed Ntanzi’s blood pressure was normal and the examination of his skull and mouth seemed normal, showing no sign of trauma.
He highlighted that there was no signs that the accused ever had a gold tooth.
State prosecutor George Baloyi put it to Hlokwe that Ntanzi claimed to have been electrocuted, tubed and assaulted a few days before the examination.
“From appearance [and] what I could see on the surface, I couldn’t see any sign of electrocution, unless if it happened underneath [his] clothing,” Hlokwe replied.
The witness further indicated that there were no marks that the accused was choked and there were no lacerations on the face.
“It was a normal person who was not in a severe altercation.”
He added that Ntanzi did not say he was assaulted.
“The only thing he stated was that he had a heart condition.”
Watch the trial below:
Attorney, Thulani Mngomezulu cross-examined Hlokwe, arguing that the dentist exceeded the scope in his examination.
But the witness disagreed and also pointed out that Ntanzi consented to his examination and signed a form for such.
“I never went above and beyond to write anything that was not within this file,” Hlokwe said.
“You are not a pulmonologist,” Mngomezulu stated.
The dentist, in his response, argued that medical students were required to know the basic facts of the body.
The defence has claimed that Ntanzi had been taken to several locations where he was tortured and assaulted on different days prior to confessing about his alleged involvement in Meyiwa’s murder.
The accused made two confessions about his alleged involvement in Meyiwa’s murder, according to the state.
Ntanzi has already been pointed out by at least two witnesses as one of the armed intruders who entered the Khumalo household in Vosloorus on 26 October 2014.
The suspect and his co-accused have pleaded not guilty to the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s killing.