Senzo Meyiwa trial: Witness can’t confirm whether accused was assaulted
A trial-within-a-trial continued in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Accused one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and accused two Bongani Ntanzi in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at Pretoria High Court on 17 July. Picture: Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe
A state witness has testified that he had no knowledge about an accused’s claims of assault and torture, when he was taken to do a pointing out of the crime scene relating to the murder of former Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.
The cross-examination of police officer, Colonel James Hadebe, continued in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Hadebe is one of the witnesses giving evidence in a trial-within-a-trial, being held to determine the admissibility of confession statements, pointing out and warning statements by all the five men.
He testified that he was the police officer who conducted the pointing out of a crime scene with accused one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya on 5 June 2020.
According to the officer, he signed out Sibiya from Alberton Police Station then took him for the pointing out exercise in Vosloorus.
Hadebe said he explained to Sibiya what his rights were, including that he was not compelled to make a statement or a pointing out.
The court also heard that Sibiya informed Hadebe he was not assaulted and that photographs taken on the day showed the accused with no visible injuries.
‘Accused arrested for drug dealing’
Hadebe told the court on Tuesday that Sibiya informed him he was arrested for drug dealing.
“The accused never said he will point out in relation to dealing with drugs. He said he was in custody for drug dealing. In my mind, the accused was going to point out whatever he wanted to point out,” he said.
Hadebe indicated that he learnt about Meyiwa’s death on television.
The police officer said he also knew that there were other people who were initially arrested in connection with the former Orlando Pirates goalie’s killing.
“Did it ever come to your attention that the pointing out that you had to conduct on 5 June 2020 related to the death of Senzo Meyiwa? Did that not conflict with the information you expected from accused number one to give you prior to the pointing out?” Sibiya’s lawyer, Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu asked.
The witness, however, disagreed, saying he had “very little knowledge” about Meyiwa’s death.
“It never formed part of the investigations,” Hadebe said.
He disputed Mngomezulu’s notion that his testimony about Sibiya wanting to voluntarily make a pointing out exercise while there were fears that he would escape from Alberton Police Station contradicted each other.
“Is that not in contrast with what you’re saying?” Mngomezulu asked.
“No it’s not,” the police officer said.
Watch the trial below:
‘Accused was assaulted’
Hadebe further admitted that he did not ask Sibiya when he was arrested.
“Did the accused inform you he was going to point out freely and voluntarily without being induced by anyone to a crime scene in relation to this matter?” Mngomezulu quizzed Hadebe.
“Yes, hence there is statement that continues after the pro forma [was completed],” the witness said.
Mngomezulu put it to Hadebe that Sibiya was first taken from a police station in Tshwane then to Vosloorus, where he was assaulted and tortured before being taken to Alberton.
“Do you know why he was kept in Alberton Police Station prior to going to Vosloorus?” the advocate asked.
“The only reason would be that he is transferred from a specific station to Alberton,” the police officer responded.
Mngomezulu: “So you are not in dispute that from Villieria Police Station to Vosloorus, where he was assaulted and back to Alberton.”
Hadebe said he could not dispute something he did not witness himself.
“I cannot confirm what I did not see.”
The court previously heard that Sibiya was assaulted at Diepkloof Police Station when he made an alleged confession statement regarding Meyiwa’s murder on the night of his arrest on 30 May 2020.
Meanwhile, Mngomezulu questioned Hadebe on why he did not write the time of departure from the Alberton Police Station on the pro forma.
But Hadebe argued that there was no provision on the form where departure times must be listed.
The officer denied that the pro forma had many mistakes, saying the incorrect date was human error.