Advocate Teffo back on the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial

Advocate Malesela Teffo, who dramatically turned his back on the Senzo Meyiwa trial, is surprisingly back and will continue representing accused number one to four when the murder trial resumes at the high court in Pretoria in August.

This after he claimed that he was withdrawing from the trial because his life was in danger.

In a letter to the high court on Thursday, Teffo said he had resolved the issues which resulted to his withdrawal and would be returning to court for the trial.

The letter reads: “Be informed that I am not going to withdraw in this matter and give the state underserved due. We have since resolved my withdrawal issue with the relevant stakeholders in this matter, and I am still the defence counsel for accused one to four.”

When he withdrew on June 12, Teffo said his withdrawal was as a result of harassment by the state and court. He told the courtroom that he had been harassed by the police and the National Prosecuting Authority, and claimed that he was asked not to be part of the case.

“I deserve and demand respect from this court. I came here knowing what will be the consequences,” said Teffo when he announced his withdrawal, adding that he will return to his role as watching brief on behalf of the Meyiwa family.

He accused judge Tshifiwa Maumela of failing to acknowledge alleged human rights violations suffered by his former client, and accused Maumela of subjecting him to harassment.

Teffo also implicated President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying he was the enabler of his intimidation, however, Ramaphosa refuted the allegations.

The Presidency said in a statement at the time: “The Presidency finds these unsubstantiated and baseless claims mischievous and harmful to the standing of the office of the president. The Presidency does not participate in criminal investigations or trials and is not involved in any perceived or actual harassment of advocate [Malesela] Teffo.

“As an officer of the court and a professional in the legal fraternity, advocate Teffo must appreciate the level of veracity that is necessary to support such claims about any institution or individual.

“The Presidency espouses the values of our constitution and cherishes the protection, safety and justice for all.”

Teffo, who is seen as an “attention seeker” on social media, has been topping the Twitter trends board for his bustling character since the commencement of the trial. Lately, he has been trending at number one and two for the comments he made on a podcast with Nkululeko n Cultr, where he outlined the events leading to his withdrawal and his views on the case.

During the podcast, Teffo maintained that the five men on trial for the murder of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper are “innocent”. The charismatic lawyer believes the witnesses who were in the house know who the killer is, and are aware of the whereabouts of the murder weapon.

He asserted in court why they should be called to testify, revealing that he had a witness who would testify that Kelly Khumalo, the then-girlfriend of Meyiwa, was the one who pulled the trigger.

Meyiwa was killed while visiting Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg on October 26 2014.

“The story of the people entering the house and killing Senzo is nonsensical. That is nonsense. No one entered in this house. If there’s a killer, if Senzo was killed or shot by someone, the shooter is in the house. The murder weapon is in the house. These people in the house know what happened to Senzo,” he said during the podcast.

Teffo also bragged about his arrest. The police pounced on him for failure to appear at the Hillbrow magistrate’s court on charges of assault and trespassing.

Teffo said he made history by becoming the first lawyer, and the first advocate to get arrested in court. “I broke the Guinness Book of World Records, I will be the first person, first lawyer, first advocate who was ever arrested in court,” he boasted.

Teffo previously told the court that according to a second docket, Longwe Twala, Khumalo, her mother Gladness, and her sister Zandi ought to have faced criminal charges, adding that the gun that killed the soccer star was brought to the house by Twala.

Currently, under docket 636 which was filed in 2014, Muzikawukhulelwa S’tembu Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder, which some believe was a robbery gone terribly wrong.

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