The defence’s attempt to retract the contents of a medical report which they handed in during cross-examination, showing that accused 2, Bongani Ntanzi, did not have any oral injuries at the time the defence says he was being tortured – has come a cropper at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.
The state put the contents of the medical report on the record yesterday afternoon during Sergeant Vusumuzi Mogane’s re-examination.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng ruled against the application.
During cross-examination, to rebut Sergeant Mogane’s evidence that on June 22, 2020, Ntanzi had appeared at the Tlhabane Magistrate’s Court, Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu handed up the medical report showing that on the day the accused had gone to the dentist.
However, in response, Mogane told the court that they had taken the accused to the dentist before taking him to court.
According to the report, Ntanzi showed no signs of oral abnormality between the first confession statement he made on June 19 and June 24, during the time the defence has argued the accused was tortured on several occasions in various places to sign the confession statements.
“General appraisal – normal; TM joints – normal; lymph nodes – normal; intra-oral exam – normal; lips and buccal mucosa – normal; pharynx and tonsils – normal; floor of mouth – normal,” stated Mogane, reading the report into the record.
Ntanzi was arrested on June 16, 2020, and since then, according to the defence, he has been subjected to repeated torture by the police.
Mogane says the reason they took Ntanzi to a dentist on the day to check if he’d ever had a gold tooth as it was previously said that one of the alleged intruders on the day Meyiwa was shot and killed had sported a gold tooth.
Proceedings today started with Advocate Mngomezulu challenging his own document submission, arguing the submission was only in relation to the date on the document and not its contents.
The judge differed! “So, you are saying this court can only peruse part of it (the date) and the other details should not be looked at?”
Mngomezulu tried to argue that the document could not be accepted as evidence since it was merely a copy and not an original copy, also telling the court they had agreed with the state that the dentist would be called to give testimony on the report.
Mngomezulu: We never agreed with the state on the contents of that document. That is just a copy and not an original. A copy cannot be handed up as evidence. The witness has no medical background and cannot testify on it.
Judge: And all this come now. You never said that when you were cross-examining the witness.
Mngomezulu: Can the court be inclined to our agreement with the state (that the dentist will come and testify)?
Judge: But it doesn’t bind me!
During re-examination, Mogane has told the court that contrary to the defence’s version that before Ntanzi signed the confession statements he’d been taken to several locations where he was tortured, tubed, assaulted and choked, the car he was driving was fitted with a tracking device and could reveal their movement on the day in question.
Baloyi: It was said you were driving a Toyota Fortuna.
Baloyi: Did it have a tracking device?
Mogane: Yes, we call it AVL?
Mogane: Automatic Vehicle Location
Baloyi: What purpose does it serve?
Mogane: It is able to protect us and also show where we are driving when we carry out our duties. And to also show if the vehicle is stolen, we are able to show through this AVL
Baloyi: It was said that you took a detour and entered a filling station where the accused was assaulted. So, if there was a detour, would the AVL show that?
Mogane: Yes, it would.
The defence has challenged the submission of the document showing Mogane’s car movements on the day and will consult on it and respond tomorrow.
Mogane is expected to take the stand again on Friday to continue with re-examination and a possible cross-examination by the defence based on the document’s contents showing his movements on the day.
Captain Tlou Nailana, the driver of the vehicle that transported accused 1, Muzi Sibiya, to pointings-out on June 5, 2020, is currently on the stand giving evidence.