Meyiwa’s friend relives torture at hands of police officers

Senzo Meyiwa’s long-time friend Mthokozisi Thwala opened an assault case against police officers who allegedly tortured him during investigations into the murder of the late Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain.

This he revealed during his testimony in the high court in Pretoria on Thursday, where five men are on trial for the murder of Meyiwa.

Meyiwa was shot dead in what was alleged to have been a botched house robbery at singer Kelly Khumalo’s family home in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg on October 26 2014.

Thwala was with Meyiwa at the time of the shooting, and has been a witness since the trial resumed on Tuesday after a six-month postponement.

Thwala told the court that he had opened a case against the two police officers at the Bhekithemba police station in Umlazi, after he was returned home.

However, he said the case was moved from one investigator to another and that the independent police investigative directorate (IPID) had only visited him once.

He also confirmed that he last checked on the case in November 2022.

“After they dropped me at home, I opened a case in Bhekithemba in BB section in Umlazi. The IPID came to my workplace and I gave a statement,” said Thwala. 

State advocate George Baloyi attempted to submit a document marked P6, which pertained to Thwala’s DNA evidence being taken as part of the assault case.

However, the defense objected, stating that only one document should be submitted at a time. Thwala acknowledged that he had no knowledge of the results of his DNA evidence.

The court adjourned for a few minutes during his testimony on Wednesday, after he broke down as he recounted how the police had tortured him in 2019, with his hands and legs bound together with a rope.

He also claimed that he was forced to admit that he had killed Meyiwa, stating that investigating officer, Colonel Joyce Buthelezi, and another officer known as Makhubo came unannounced to fetch him from his home in uMlazi and claimed they were taking him for an identity parade in Johannesburg.

Instead, they drove him to Pretoria and took him to Buthelezi’s office where he was assaulted. Besides being beaten for at least an hour, he was also suffocated using a tube, he told the court.

“They tied my hands and feet together and my private part was exposed on the mat … I [could not] breathe and I thought I would die there. They were taking turns [torturing me] for a good three to four hours,” he said.

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