Judge rejects application to pause Senzo case until after elections

The Senzo Meyiwa murder case trial Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng has rejected the media’s application to have the case postponed to after elections. The trial is in the High Court sitting in Pretoria.

State prosecutor advocate George Baloyi presented before the court an application from the media on their absence in the case as they will be focusing on the upcoming elections.

However, that application was rejected by the defence counsel, who said they could not pause court proceedings for the media.

“They are not going to be able to be here from Wednesday next week and they are requesting that maybe we should perhaps not sit on those days, from Wednesday until the date of the election and then continue thereafter,” said Baloyi.

Defence counsel for accused number five did not hesitate to say the application is objected when the judge asked for the defence to respond.

Defence objected to application

“We are objecting my lord, we are objecting that application.”

Advocate Zithulele Nxumalo said they would proceed without the media. He represented accused number four in the case, Mthokoziseni Maphisa. 

“We just need to proceed my lord, we have been sitting here since July last year.”

Mokgoatlheng said: “So they want to do other work and we must sit tight and we come back after they have done what they want to do? Tell them we are opposed to that. If they want, they can bring in a formal application. We shall adjourn on that exercise and meet on Monday.”

Meanwhile, the police’s mobile data analyst Colonel Gideon Gouws’ presentation of additional statements pushed for an adjournment. This after the state informed the court that there was a need for it.

As Gouws continued to make his statement on phone records, the court described the procedure as tedious. It stated that all sides needed to come up with a process of how it would be addressed.

Mokgoatlheng paused Gouws, stating that all parties must agree or disagree on the modus operandi. He said he will accept whatever process works best for them.

“Otherwise he must read everything. If you do not agree, that is fine. That will mean we will spend the whole of next year going through these numbers. You have to meet with the defence and work out a modus operandi that will make us focus on what the evidence suggests for all the accused,” said Mokgoatlheng.

The defence agreed to the judge’s decision.

Cellphone data analyst evidence rejected

Earlier in court, defence counsel for accused five had disputed evidence by retired cellphone data analyst. The evidence was that her client had called Meyiwa’s ex-girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo.

Meyiwa was slain in October 2014 during an alleged botched house robbery. He was shot dead in front of his ex-girlfriend Khumalo, her sister Zandile, their mother, and his friends. Meyiwa was a goalkeeper for both Bafana Bafana and the Orlando Pirates.

As a result, five men accused of killing him have been arrested and are on trial.

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