Why Meyiwa’s friend turned down offer to take part in documentary

Mthokozisi Thwala, the sixth state witness in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, told the Pretoria High Court on Thursday that he refused to take part in a documentary about the late soccer star citing a bad experience with the media.

Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star, is a true-crime documentary series that was released on Netflix on April 7 2022.

The documentary delves into the tragic life and untimely demise of Meyiwa.

According to Thwala’s testimony on Thursday, the producers of the docu-series approached him to persuade him to feature in the documentary.

They expressed their intention to showcase Meyiwa’s upbringing and his journey to becoming a prominent figure in the Premier Soccer League, he said.

However, Thwala asserted that he turned down the offer due to his prior unfortunate experience with the media.

He recalled an incident when Meyiwa’s brother, accompanied by Soweto Mandlazi, approached him to contribute to a book they were writing about Meyiwa.

Initially, Thwala agreed to be part of the book after Meyiwa’s father urged him to join the project.

Yet, to his dismay, the book was published with his statements altered and important details omitted, despite his efforts to rectify the situation.

Frustrated by this misrepresentation, Thwala said he took legal action against the individuals involved in the book’s publication.

This unsettling encounter led him to be cautious and reluctant about participating in a Netflix documentary, even after persistent requests from the producers.

During the court proceedings, Thwala stated: “I refused to be part of the documentary. I had a bad experience before with media.”

Meyiwa was murdered at the home of his then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg on October 26 2014.

During the court proceedings last week, Khumalo was linked with one of the men accused of the murder when SA Police Service cellphone analyst, Lambertus Steyn, testified that the two made contact telephonically weeks before the murder.

On Thursday, Khumalo was removed from the line-up of the highly anticipated Maseru Jazz Festival following dramatic testimony of Steyn.

The festival’s management announced said the decision was taken to safeguard the integrity of the event and to give the Afro-pop powerhouse time to deal with accusations arising from the court proceedings.

It was not the first time that event organisers decided to dump Khumalo.

On Tuesday she was removed from the line-up of the Tribute to Women Festival scheduled for August 12 at the family-friendly Emmarentia Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg, also due to dramatic testimony in the high court.


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