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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Senzo Meyiwa trial: Witness denies lovers spat between Longwe Twala and Zandi Khumalo

Meyiwa's brother, in 2019, filed an affidavit stating he was informed on the night of the shooting that Senzo was trying to break up a lovers spat.

The gruelling cross-examination of witness Mthokozisi Thwala in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial continues at the High Court sitting in Pretoria.

Thwala, was one of seven people present in the family home of musician Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, when the Bafana Bafana captain was shot dead in an apparent robbery gone wrong on 26 October 2014.

Khumalo and Meyiwa, who were having an affair at the time, were at her house with her mother Ntombi, sister Zandi, Zandi’s boyfriend at the time – Longwe Twala – and Senzo’s friends, which include Thwala and Tumelo Madlala.

Five suspects; Bongani Ntanzi, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Ncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.

Thwala struggles to recall details

Defence Advocate Zandile Mshololo, representing accused number four – Mthokoziseni Maphisa, appears to have successfully poked several holes in Thwala’s testimony because he struggled to recall specific details.

He had initially testified that two intruders suddenly entered the Khumalo family home via the kitchen. One of them, who had dreadlocks, had demanded cellphones and money in isiZulu and Sesotho.

However, under cross-exam, he said the intruders used the English words for “firearms” and “money”.

Thwala also battled to recall what the gun looked like, further stating he couldn’t tell the difference between a toy gun and a real firearm.

Zandi and Longwe Twala

Mshololo then introduced an affidavit from Meyiwa’s brother-in-law, Mlungisi Edward Hlophe.

Hlophe’s affidavit stated that he had called Tumelo Madlala on the night in question because he wanted to get the truth about what happened.

Madlala had told him over the phone that Zandi and her boyfriend, Longwe Twala (son of musician Chicco Twala), were having a fight and that Meyiwa tried to intervene.

However, Thwala refuted these claims saying there was never a fight and that Hlophe had only filed his affidavit in 2019, five years after his brother was shot.

Meyiwa bleeding on the floor

Mshololo also interrogated how the occupants of the house handled Meyiwa’s gunshot wound after the attackers fled.

Thwala testified that he managed to flee the home with his cellphone while the attack was still underway.

Even though Thwala managed to flee the property by jumping over the concrete wall, he said he did not log a distress call to police once he was safely out because his battery was dead. But he also didn’t approach any neighbours to call for help.

He then decided to head back to the house, where Khumalo’s mother informed him the intruders had left.

Thwala found Meyiwa bleeding on the floor and covered the wound with a towel, at which point the neighbours advised them to call the ambulance.

When they saw that Meyiwa was still alive, someone suggested they drive him to the hospital. But a statement that forms part of the docket revealed that physicians declared the soccer star dead on arrival.

Mshololo put it to Thwala that Meyiwa died because they had delayed getting him medical attention. Thwala said could not comment on the timing of everything that happened after the shooting.

The trial continues.

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Kelly Khumalo Senzo Meyiwa

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