Meyiwa trial hears evidence from dentist who examined suspect

The Pretoria High Court on Friday heard perplexing evidence from the state’s last witness in the trial within the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.

The witness, Thabang Hlokwe, who is a dentist, was examined on his expertise and his account of a session with accused number two, Bongani Ntanzi in 2020.

Ntanzi, along with accused number one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, are alleged to have confessed to the murder of Meyiwa. The Bafana star was shot dead at the home of his then-girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, in October 2014.

Validity of confessions

The trial sought to determine the admissibility of their confessions. Both Ntanzi and Sibiya argued that the confessions were coerced through physical assault and manipulation.

However, the police officers involved in their arrests have denied these allegations throughout the trial within a trial.

During the proceedings on Friday, Hlokwe took the stand and testified regarding his examination of Ntanzi. He confirmed that he examined the accused from the waist up, including an oral examination.

He said Ntanzi was accompanied by what he dubbed prison wardens when he arrived at the dental clinic, handcuffed.

No evidence of gold tooth and assault

“The policeman said I must check if the patient had a gold tooth [before].”

This examination was significant because one of the descriptions given of one of the intruders involved in the murder case was that he had a gold tooth.

However, Hlokwe revealed that there were no signs of “cosmetic work” on Ntanzi’s teeth, including any gold teeth.

He further testified that he did not see any visible signs of assault or injuries on Ntanzi. However, he acknowledged that he examined the patient with his clothes on.

Patient gave consent to be examined

When asked about permission to examine Ntanzi, Hlokwe confirmed that the patient had given consent and that a consent form was present in the case file.

He emphasised that standard practice involves informing the patient about the examination’s purpose and getting their consent before proceeding.

The defence lawyers were seemingly perplexed by Hlongwe’s examination scope. They  argued that he may have exceeded his dentistry scope.

Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu said he violated his client’s rights.

Hlokwe defended his actions, stating: “I never went above and beyond anything that was not in this file.”

Questioned on medical expertise

He also emphasised that obtaining a patient’s medical history is a fundamental part of any examination in medical practice.

Despite these assertions, Hlokwe maintained that he did not inquire about Ntanzi’s overall health or medical status during the examination. He also did not ask Ntanzi to remove his clothing.

The trial will continue on Monday.

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