Meyiwa murder trial within trial ruling expected this week

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng will make his ruling on the Senzo Meyiwa trial within a trial on Thursday.

The trial within a trial has been running since October to determine the admissibility of the alleged confessions and pointings out of accused numbers one and two.

The trial took an unexpected turn last year when it emerged that accused number one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, and number two, Bongani Ntanzi, allegedly confessed in the past to the gruesome murder of the late soccer star.

However, the proceedings entered a complex phase as Ntanzi’s lawyer claimed that his client’s confession was obtained under duress.

Killed at then-girlfriend’s home

Meyiwa was shot and killed at his then-girlfriend’s home in Vosloorus on October 26 2014.

The witnesses in the house at the time told the court that two intruders invaded the Khumalo home and demanded cellphones and money.

A scuffle broke out between the occupants and the intruders, which resulted in the shooting of Meyiwa.

Five men are on trial for the murder – Sibiya, Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Ntuli. They have all entered pleas of not guilty.

During the course of the trial within a trial, the court heard that Ntanzi and Sibiya willingly confessed to the murder and signed sworn confessions.

However, the defence argued that they were coerced into confessions by means of assault and torture. The court also heard that Ntanzi was offered R3-million to implicate other individuals.

Fault alibi

Bongani Gininda, the lead investigator in the Meyiwa murder trial, refuted the allegations of assault and torture, revealing that the accused even asked for a bargain plea.

Gininda told the court that Ntanzi also provided a fault alibi.

He said he had travelled to Carletonville to confirm Ntanzi’s alibi at Sibanye Stillwaters mine, where the accused worked at the time, following the revelation that he was not present at work on the day of Meyiwa’s murder.

Ntanzi’s absence from work was confirmed in October during state witness Hedrick Mulder’s testimony. Mulder was Ntanzi’s human resources manager at Sibanye Gold at the time of the killing.

He told the court that Ntanzi was absent from work for personal reasons and that his leave without pay was approved by his line manager. He was due back at work after five days.

Contractual killing

Earlier this month, Sergeant Vusi Mogane told the court that upon realising that police knew he was not at work on the day of the murder, Ntanzi willingly offered to “tell the truth” to Gininda.

“One of the officers called me and said the suspect wanted to speak. When I went back to him, what he told me was tantamount to a confession,” said Gininda.

“I warned him again, and he said he just wanted to tell the truth.”

The court also heard that Meyiwa’s murder was not a robbery gone wrong, but a contractual killing.

This was revealed in the accused’s affidavit, read out in court by Gininda.

Kelly Khumalo implicated

According to the affidavit, Meyiwa’s then-girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, was the mastermind behind the killing. It is alleged that she planned the killing and paid for it.

It is also alleged that she went to a traditional healer for cleansing, as the accused are also said to have done.

The affidavit further revealed that the missing cellphone numbers discovered during the investigation linked Khumalo to accused numbers three and five.

“It is clear she hated him. She meant for him to be killed.”

After the judge has made a ruling on the admissibility of these confessions, it will be clear which direction the main trial will take.

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