Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘I don’t need you to lecture me,’ cop tells defence lawyer as Senzo Meyiwa trial heats up

Advocate Charles Mnisi and Sergeant Batho Mogola got into a brief argument in court on Wednesday.

Tensions ran high in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial as the defence grilled a police officer in attempt to cast doubt over the state’s case.

Sergeant Batho Mogola’s cross-examination resumed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, where five men are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.

The football star was shot and killed while visiting his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, at her mother’s house in Vosloorus on 26 October 2014.

During court proceedings Advocate Charles Mnisi, representing Mthobisi Mncube, reminded Mogola the evidence collected from the Vosloorus home failed to link all the accused to the crime scene.

The defence lawyer pointed out that Mncube’s DNA was excluded from the swabs taken inside the house by the police.

However, Mogola clarified that lead investigator Bongani Gininda had explained to her that despite the DNA results, it didn’t imply that the suspects were not at the house on the day of the incident.

“Maybe the DNA was not enough for the analyst to come to a conclusion. That’s what I understood when he told me,” she responded.

ALSO READ: Senzo Meyiwa murder suspect thought case was ‘dead’ before DNA sample was taken

Mnisi claimed that Gininda’s explanation was “hogwash and nonsense”.

“The experts are saying they are not linked and that’s final. What he said to you is immaterial.”

Tensions began to escalate as the cross-examination proceeded.

Mnisi then told the police officer that they were there to help the court make a correct decision in the case. “You are not here to help the state win or lose a case.”

Mogola responded by saying she didn’t need a lecture from the lawyer.

“I don’t need you to lecture me about that because I know very well why I am here. So you don’t have any authority to address me on that. And you leave the judgment to the judge. The judge is the one who is supposed to make a finding on what I have delivered to this court.”

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng was forced to intervene as the exchange between Mnisi and Mogola continued.

Meyiwa murder investigation

Mnisi further quizzed the witness about the police’s investigation regarding the murder case.

“You embarked on a process of an investigation in this case without having a background from the people who were in the house on what exactly could have happened at the time which this incident took place,” the advocate said.

Mogola had told the court that she did not interview any of the individuals present in the house when Meyiwa was shot, but obtained a statement from the footballer’s close friend, Mthokozisi Thwala.

“I still say I was acting upon Brigadier Gininda’s instruction as he is the lead investigating officer,” the witness asserted.

READ MORE: Meyiwa murder trial: Defence wants Dr Irvin Khoza to testify about who shot Senzo

Mnisi put it to Mogola that his client denied having dreadlocks or entering the Khumalo household to kill Meyiwa.

Past witnesses testified that one of the intruders was armed and had dreadlocks, which is believed to be Mncube.

“He doesn’t know how the deceased was killed. He has no explanation to give as he was not there.”

Watch the trial below:

But Mogola maintained that investigations revealed Mncube was involved in Meyiwa’s murder.

“The state alleges that the accused acted in furtherance of a common purpose in the commission of this offence. Would you know how, when and who hatched the plan to commit this offence?” Mnisi asked.

“I know that there is a mastermind behind it,” Mogola replied.

The police officer identified Kelly Khumalo as the mastermind.

She emphasised that she was unsure why a warrant of arrest had not been issued for Khumalo.

“I’m not in a position to say why it was not issued,” Mogola said.

Mnisi further asserted that Mncube denied ever meeting or communicating with Khumalo.

“I have no comment as I have indicated that I have no knowledge how they are linked with each of the accused.”

The confession statements of two of the accused alleged that Khumalo ordered the hit on Meyiwa.

NOW READ: Senzo Meyiwa trial: Defence asks why Kelly Khumalo wasn’t arrested