Meyiwa’s childhood friend Madlala comes under intense grilling

Tumelo Madlala faced intense grilling by defence lawyers at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

His second day on the witness stand saw defence lawyers probing his recollection of the events leading up to Meyiwa’s tragic death on October 26 2014.

A cellphone analyst previously testified that no one present in the house at the time of the shooting had called for help.

Defence lawyer Sipho Ramosepele probed further, questioning why Madlala did not seek help even after being locked up in a room.

Madlala responded: “It was my first time at that house, and I didn’t know anyone there. All the people I knew were in that house. Who was I going to call for help?”

He revealed that he had never used the emergency number 10111 before, and was caught in a state of distress during the shooting.

Madlala emphasized the stark difference between analyzing a situation in hindsight versus experiencing it in the heat of the moment.

“When you are in a situation, it is a different story, but when you have never been in a situation, it is easy to say why you did not do certain things,” he said.

“When you are in the situation, you experience it differently.”

Madlala’s testimony aligned with that of Zandie Khumalo and Nthabiseng Mokete. Both Khumalo and Mokete previously confirmed that they, too, did not call the police.

Ramosepele attempted to challenge the narrative of two intruders entering the house, highlighting that only Kelly Khumalo’s cellphone was stolen, and that no other valuable items were taken.

However, Madlala contended that he could not speak on behalf of others, and expressed frustration over being asked about matters he had not written about in his statements.

“You are disrespecting me by saying there were no intruders inside that house. I was there,” Madlala said.

Madlala, who is Meyiwa’s childhood friend, was at the house when Meyiwa was gunned down by alleged intruders at the Kelly’s home in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg.

The trial continues on Thursday.


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