Senzo Meyiwa trial: Accused says he was not informed of his rights on day of arrest
The trial-within-a-trial continues, where the conduct of the police officers is in question.
Accused number two, Bongani Ntanzi, at the Pretoria High Court on 15 September 2022. Picture: Gallo Images/Tebogo Letsie
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard that Bongani Ntanzi, one of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case, was never informed of his rights when he was arrested on 16 June 2020.
This comes after the defence argued in November that police did not provide a docket for his arrest, as he had been arrested under the wrong case number and information.
The defence has also previously argued Ntanzi was arrested and assaulted to force a confession out of him.
The trial-within-a-trial, which started in October 2022, seeks to determine the admissibility of confession statements.
Ntanzi took the stand on Monday, where Advocate Ronnie Sibanda, for the state, cross-examined him.
Detailing the events of the day of his arrest, Ntanzi said he was assaulted before he was taken to the Pretoria North police station, where he was questioned further.
He said he was transported to the station in a white Fortuner, arrived there and Sergeant Vusimuzi Mogane went into the station, leaving Ntanzi with Sergeant Steven Mabena in the car.
Later, Mogane came back and instructed Ntanzi and Mabena to follow him into the station. From there, he was led into a boardroom, where he was questioned.
Brigadier Bongani Gininda, Sergeant Bathobakae Mogola, Mogane and Mabena were present during the questioning, he said.
“Gininda asked where I was on that day in October 2014.
“I told him I cannot remember where I was in October – whether I was at home or work, I don’t remember, because If I’m not at home, I’m at work,” said Ntanzi.
“He also asked me about my dreads and the number 28 tattoo.
“I told him I did not know about the number 28 because it was my first arrest. I also told them I had never had a gold tooth. I again told them I had never had dreadlocks. He instructed me to undress so he could see if I had never really had that tattoo. I undressed and he took pictures of me to show that I did not have that number.”
Ntanzi further said at the time, he did not know who Gininda was.
“I did not know them at the time. Gininda did introduce himself at the time, but I’m not sure which title he used at the time. I only heard here in court that he is a brigadier.”
The state, however, told Ntanzi that Gininda had previously denied being at the Pretoria north court on 17 June 2020.
He responded: “I still maintain Gininda is the one I spoke to, because all the other ones were quiet.”
When asked why the occurrence book at the station made no mention of his injuries from the assault, Ntanzi said he could not dispute what had been written in his absence.
“I would not dispute what was written by him [Mogane] and he did not write it in my presence. Mogane left me with Mabena in the car and went into the police station, I don’t know what he was doing inside,” said Ntanzi.
“He came back to me with a bunch of keys and told Mabena to open the car for me and told me to get off the car and get inside a cell. What he wrote there, I don’t know. I followed him and I stood at the corridors while he checked the police cells. No police officer from that station was accompanying Mogane,” he said.
The trial continues.