Meyiwa was shot at close range by tall individual, hears court

Providing a gripping testimony on the autopsy of Senzo Meyiwa at the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday, pathologist Johannes Steenkamp shed light the soccer star’s cause of death.

Steenkamp offered a vivid portrayal of injuries that Meyiwa sustained when he was shot at the home of his then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus on October 26 2014.

He indicated that the primary mechanisms of death were heavy blood loss coupled with damage to the lungs and heart.

According to Steenkamp, Meyiwa was shot by an individual who was taller than him, a conclusion drawn from the angle and nature of the gunshot wound.

He highlighted the acute edges of the wound, suggesting a close-range shot.

He also stated that the firearm was likely pressed against the deceased, but could have been at arm’s length.

Steenkamp clarified that, according to his findings, Meyiwa was shot from the front, dispelling the notion of a shot from behind.

However, inconsistencies arose as a defence attorney questioned the absence of blood drips in certain areas of the crime scene, which contradicts testimonies from other witnesses.

He said something was pushed hard against Meyiwa’s body when the unfortunate event happened.

Due to this strong pressure and the gun being fired, stuff like gun residue, heat, and gun powder got into his skin, creating a wound that looked like a bullet entrance and explaining the dark stuff seen during the examination after his passing.

He further stated that the bullet did not only damage Meyiwa’s right lung, but also inflicted harm to the interior tissues of his heart, leading to internal bleeding.

The court heard that Meyiwa survived for a matter of seconds or minutes after the gunshot, with Steenkamp ruling out any possibility of him surviving for hours.

 “The heart and the lungs are important organs. This type of injury can cause a fatality, sometimes instantaneously,” said Steenkamp.

“I think, in this case, he was a fit young man. He probably would’ve survived seconds, minutes, definitely not hours.”

During cross-examination, the defence asked whether there would be a blood trail if Meyiwa had been carried from the scene to the yard.

To which Steenkamp replied that the presence of blood trail would depend on how he was transported.

The defence also sought clarity on why Meyiwa’s clothing was not tested, to which Steenkamp responded by saying it was not deemed significant.

The pathologist was also questioned about witnesses’ accounts of attempting to sit Meyiwa up after the shooting.

He explained that while this action would not significantly worsen the injuries, it could have had some impact.

The trial continues on Wednesday with a new witness.


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