Senzo Meyiwa murder trial resumes at Pretoria High Court

The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial is set to resume for another round at the high court in Pretoria on Monday.

The trial came to a halt in September after the court heard that advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents accused number five, was not feeling well and that accused number two, Bonginkosi Tanzi, was applying for bail.

Tanzi appeared before the high court for his formal bail application in October and judgment was reserved.

Tumelo Madlala, Meyiwa’s then-best friend, is expected to take the stand for cross-examination. Damning evidence emerged during his testimony in September when he was giving an account of what transpired the night Meyiwa was killed.

Love triangle

Tshepo Thobane, legal counsel for accused one to four, argued that there were no intruders at Meyiwa’s then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, where he was gunned down on October 26 2014.

Instead, Thobane argued that the late Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was killed by one of the people who were with him inside the house.

Thobane alleged that Meyiwa’s demise might have been as a result of a botched love triangle. He said he will bring a witness who will testify that Meyiwa was having a romantic relationship with Kelly’s sister Zandi.

According to Thobane, Zandi was staying with Meyiwa and Kelly at their home in Mulbarton, southern Johannesburg, while Kelly was away on a music gig, inferring that Zandi and Meyiwa were intimate during Kelly’s absence.

Madlala chose not to take a position on this. “I won’t deny or admit that because I know that Senzo loved women,” said Madlala in response to one of Thobane’s questions.

The policies

According to Thobane, Kelly, who is the mother of Meyiwa’s child, also stood to benefit from the soccer star’s death.

He told the court that a witness will testify that Kelly was a signatory and beneficiary to a life policy taken in Meyiwa’s name. This after Madlala testified that he shared everything and spoke about everything with the deceased.

Asked about the policies, Madlala said: “That is a personal matter. Let that witness come and testify, because Senzo’s life policies had nothing to do with me, just like my policies had nothing to do with him.”

Kelly hosted Madlala after the incident

The court also heard that musician Sello “Chicco” Twala offered to pay for Kelly’s vacation overseas soon after the murder of the football star.

According Madlala, Twala visited Kelly’s home in Mulbarton a few days after the fatal shooting. “I am not sure about the day, but I was still in Mulbarton when Chicco Twala visited and Kelly introduced me as Senzo’s friend. I heard him [Chicco] asking if she didn’t want to go overseas for a holiday,” said Madlala.

State advocate George Baloyi probed about the date, to which Madlala said he did not remember, and asked if the court could allow him to testify without mentioning the dates, stating that it has been a long time since the incident happened.

Madlala had gone to Kelly’s house in the early hours of the morning after Meyiwa was shot and killed. He told the court that he had travelled to the house in Meyiwa’s BMW with Kelly and her child, her sister Zandi and their mother Gladness.

Madlala shared how Kelly instructed security at the gate not to let the police into the estate, telling the court that the afro-pop musician instructed them, once inside her house, to switch off the lights until the police were gone.

After that, she made a call and the police left.

The court also heard that Meyiwa was transported to the hospital by Kelly in an attempt to save the former Bucs captain’s life.

Testifying about their trip to the hospital, he said Meyiwa was picked up from the dining room where he lay and was placed inside the car, noting that his best friend’s body was very heavy.

“We tried to pick him up but he was heavy. I was at the back, behind him. In the car, his head lay on me, and in the middle it was Mthokozisi Twala [another friend of Meyiwa]. On the side, it was Zandi,” Madlala testified.

He said other people, whom he described as neighbours, had already gathered at Kelly’s mother’s house after the shooting, and added that a woman bystander offered him a face cloth to cover Meyiwa’s wound to stop the bleeding.

“She said I must place it on the hole [gunshot wound] where the blood was coming out. Kelly was driving and she was hitting [speed] humps. Zandi reprimanded her. I think there was blood coming [out] from the wound, because there were newspapers in the car and they had blood on them.”

However, during cross-examination, Madlala said he could not tell if Meyiwa was dead or alive when they rushed him to the hospital. This after Thobane alleged that Meyiwa was already dead during a ride to Botshelong Hospital.

“I put it to you that by the time you put Meyiwa in the car, he had already passed on,” Thobane said, to which Madlala responded: “I am not in a position to say, perhaps a doctor can testify to that.”

The hat

When the state’s second witness Patrick Mthethwa took the stand, he told the court that the police found a hat, a crutch, a projectile and cans of alcohol in the kitchen. Mthethwa, a policeman, said the police officers were shown (these items) by Gladness.

He said according to Gladness, the hat belonged to one of the alleged intruders. However, Thobane said the hat actually belonged to Madlala, noting that it was collected as evidence and it had been proven that it does not belong to any of the accused.

Madlala patently denied the hat and said: “No, it is not mine.”

The crutch

Although Madlala refuted Thobane’s claims, he took ownership of the crutch. The court heard that he was walking on crutches on the day of Meyiwa’s murder, because he was nursing an injury.

But he further testified that he ran to the bedroom and sought refuge when a fight broke out between the people in the house and the intruders. Madlala also testified that Kelly and Zandi were fighting one of the intruders using his crutch.

Asked why he left his crutches, he said he was only injured “on the big toe, not the whole foot”.


Madlala singled out Tanzi as the second intruder whom Meyiwa held up against the wall while trying to defend the people in the house.

He said he could not testify when he first arrived in court because he was frightened after seeing the intruders, telling the court that it was the first time “he is seeing them like this”.

He went further to tell the court: “I don’t care about people, what I am doing is for Senzo, not anyone else. If it happens that you have seen someone before and you see that person again, it will not be difficult to point the person out. I wouldn’t lie in a case like this.”

Thobane described Madlala as an “elusive” witness, after failing to remember the time at which the intruders invaded the house, and the time at which he saw the evidence found in the kitchen. Madlala said he did not even remember if it was dark or not.

The accused Tanzi, Muzi Sibiya, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonnke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli are currently on the dock for Meyiwa’s murder, attempted murder of other witnesses, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition in 2020.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Also read: Meyiwa trial: Judgment reserved in Ntanzi’s bail application

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