Accused number three defence wants firearm charge squashed

Charles Mnisi, the defence lawyer for accused number three in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, on Wednesday attempted to have a gun charge against his client dropped.

Mnisi argued that the firearm charge against his client, Mthokozisi Ncube, has to be dropped based on a previous conviction related to the same weapon.

Mncube is one of the five men currently being tried for the murder of the late national football team goalkeeper.

Mncube and his co-accused Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli have pleaded not guilty.

They face charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mncube was taken into custody in 2017 on an unrelated case during which he was found to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Mnisi contended that Mncube had already been convicted for possessing the firearm in question, this despite having snubbed the opportunity to contest the charges when the trial started “de novo” in July.

“Over and above the plea of not guilty, we are amending our plea to add the plea of autrefois convict,” he said.

“He was charged and convicted related to the same firearm at the Johannesburg High Court in 2017.”

Seeking clarification of Mncube’s conviction, presiding judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng stated: “The court has to know whether he was charged and was there a trial and what was the outcome of the trial. You can’t be charged twice for the same offence.”

Meanwhile, during cross-examination of Vosloorus police station Sergeant Timothy Mathebula, the court learnt that Kelly Khumalo’s uncle, Themba Khumalo, will soon be called to testify.

Themba’s name was mentioned during Sergeant Patrick Mthethwa’s testimony, that he had been left to guard the Khumalo residence where Meyiwa was killed on October 26 2014.

The court heard that both sergeants Mthethwa and Mathebula momentarily left the crime scene unattended to get more information from other witnesses who were said to be at the Botshelong Hospital, where Meyiwa was taken after being shot.

The two officers testified, respectively, that they were informed by Themba that the people who know what happened had gone to the hospital.

Trusting this account, the officers left Themba at the scene and proceeded to the hospital.

Mathebula confirmed during cross-examination that the crime scene was briefly unguarded but under Themba’s supervision.

He stated: “We asked what happened, and he said the people with information had gone to the hospital; they all left. What he knows is that Senzo Meyiwa was shot.”


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