Muzi Sibiya denies confessing to Senzo Meyiwa’s murder

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, one of the five men on trial for the murder of former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, has vehemently denied confessing to the crime.

Sibiya’s testimony at the Pretoria High Court on Monday shed light on his arrest and the alleged coercion he faced during the investigation.

Meyiwa was shot and killed at the home of his then-girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, in October 2014.

The court has heard from witnesses that two intruders invaded the Khumalo home and demanded cellphones and money, leading to a scuffle that resulted in Meyiwa’s death.

Sibiya and four other suspects — Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli — have all entered pleas of not guilty.

It is alleged that Sibiya and Ntanzi confessed to their involvement in the murder during their arrests in 2020, respectively.

Trial within the trial

However, a trial within the Meyiwa case, which aimed at determining the admissibility of their confessions, revealed that Meyiwa’s murder was a contractual killing, implicating all five suspects in various roles and Khumalo as the mastermind.

Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, representing Sibiya and Ntanzi, argued that his clients were subjected to assault and coercion during their arrests.

Lead investigator Brigadier Bongani Gininda previously testified that Sibiya had allegedly boasted to acquaintances in KwaZulu-Natal about his involvement in the murder.

After his arrest, Sibiya was said to have pointed out the crime scene and described how the shooting occurred.

Additionally, a traditional healer reportedly linked Sibiya to the murder before and after the shooting.

Gininda asserted that both Sibiya and Ntanzi willingly confessed and understood the nature of their confessions.

However, during the proceedings on Monday, Sibiya, serving as the first defence witness, adamantly maintained his innocence, asserting that he never admitted to Meyiwa’s murder and claimed to not know about the shooting.

“The police started assaulting me when I said I knew nothing about Meyiwa’s murder,” Sibiya said. “I never admitted to any involvement in Meyiwa’s murder.”

Severe physical abuse

Sibiya revealed that in March 2019, he had been arrested on drug-related charges and subsequently subjected to severe physical abuse and torture by the police for over an hour and a half.

This abuse was reportedly aimed at extracting information about Meyiwa’s death. Sibiya was later released without appearing in court.

On May 30 2020, the court heard that Sibiya was arrested again.

He described being taken to various locations, questioned about Meyiwa, and subjected to further beatings and torture by cops.

He further claimed that he eventually urinated on himself due to the trauma.

It was during this time that he was interviewed by Colonel Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho and allegedly made admissions under duress.

However, Sibiya told the court that he signed documents presented to him without reading them or having them read to him, and that Mbotho never read his rights.

“Everything that happened to me was not out of my own free will; even that which happened with Mbotho was not out of my own free will,” he testified.

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