Meyiwa’s murder trial delayed due to defence lawyer’s illness

The trial of five men accused of killing soccer star Senzo Meyiwa in 2014 continued at the Pretoria High Court on Friday before it was postponed due to one of the legal representatives not feeling well.

Mthokozisi Thwala, a witness in the case, was being cross-examined by advocate Sipho Ramosepele when the trial was halted.

Thwala recounted the events of the night Meyiwa was killed, stating that when he returned to the house after smoking outside, the visibility was poor in the dining room where the crime occurred.

According to Thwala’s testimony, when the suspect carrying a gun entered the house, he demanded money and cellphones from the group.

Thwala stated that he was scared during the incident and Longwe Twala, the son of musician Sello “Chicco” Twala, was the first person to react.

The court heard that he ran towards the suspect, pushed him, and left the house. After Twala left the house, Meyiwa allegedly pushed the suspect with the gun towards the kitchen, and Thwala followed him.

“I was scared,” he said. “Longwe ran to the person, pushed him and went to the door.

“Senzo pushed the guy with the gun and pushed him towards the direction of the kitchen.  I took my phone that was on top of the TV and followed to the kitchen.”

Thwala also testified that it was his first time meeting Twala, one of the accused, on the night of the murder, describing him as “Zandi’s boyfriend” because he did not know him by name.

The trial will continue on Monday with Thwala back on the stand for cross-examination by the defence team.

The murder of Meyiwa shocked the nation in 2014 and has remained a high-profile case for the South African justice system.

The trial is being closely watched by many in the country who are hoping for a resolution to the case, however, it is still unclear when the end would come.

Sunday World understands that the trial, which resumed on Tuesday, will run until May 26 and is expected to reconvene again from June 5 to June 15.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend presiding judge Tshifiwa Maumela, after it received complaints against himself and another judge, Mngqibisa Thusi, for failing to deliver reserved judgments in the Gauteng Division of the High Court.

The JSC said it asked Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to appoint a Judicial Conduct Tribunal to investigate the complaints.

If the allegations are found to be true, it would indicate gross incapacity on the part of the judges.

The JSC recommended that the two judges be suspended until the investigations are completed, on condition that they finalise all pending matters during the suspension.

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