Meyiwa murder trial: Defence questions Kelly Khumalo’s role

The defence in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has questioned why singer Kelly Khumalo was not arrested in connection with the death of her late partner Senzo Meyiwa.

Meyiwa was shot and killed at Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus in October 2014 in the presence of his two friends, the Khumalo family, and singer Chicco Twala’s son Longwe.

Fingered as mastermind 

During a trial within the trial, which sought to determine the admissibility of confession statements in the matter, the court heard that Khumalo was the mastermind behind Meyiwa’s murder. The defence alleged that she had ordered and paid for the hit.

Returning to the stand for cross-examination on Tuesday, Sergeant Batho Mogola was questioned about the failure to execute a warrant for Khumalo’s arrest. This despite an application that was made in 2020.

Advocate Zandile Mshololo, representing accused number five, pressed Mogola on the status of the warrant application for Khumalo’s arrest. Mogola responded that she was not aware of its authorisation status. The defense further inquired about potential communication between Khumalo and one of the accused. Mogola declined to comment on that.

Asked Mshololo: “For argument’s sake, if it can be proven or it can be said that there was communication between Ms Kelly Khumalo and Mr Ntuli, is there an offence according to your knowledge as part of the investigating team?”

“I have no comment,” Mogola responded.

Discrepancies in identification process

Accused two Bongani Ntanzi’s lawyer Sipho Ramosepele, referenced warrant officer Amanda Steenkamp’s affidavit. He highlighted inconsistencies in the descriptions of the suspects. These as provided by the occupants of the house where the incident occurred.

Ramosepele pointed out discrepancies in the identification process. He suggested a lack of clarity regarding the second intruder.

State prosecutor George Baloyi objected to the defence’s line of questioning. He argued that some occupants had already testified about the identification of the suspects.

Further questions emerged regarding the controversial second docket. This recommended charges against Khumalo and others for murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Mogola claimed she was not aware of the docket, indicating it was compiled separately from the one currently used on trial.

Five men are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder, including Sibiya, Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli. They have all pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, the defence alleged that Meyiwa was killed by Longwe during a dispute.

Longwe Twala implicated

The defence presented a scene where Longwe, allegedly inebriated, wielded a .38 special revolver. This resulted in three shots being fired. Meyiwa was fatally shot, Longwe injured himself in the ankle, and Zandie was also wounded.

The defence lawyer also claimed that crucial evidence, including ballistic analysis, was manipulated by investigators. This he said was done to protect certain individuals. He criticised the investigation as “far from the truth”. He also accused it of failing to consider alternative scenarios.

During the proceedings on Tuesday, presiding Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng asked Mogola about the allegations. The sergeant denied stating that he was not involved in any cover up.

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