Sibiya found guilty of drug charges,illegal possession of ammunition

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Accused No. 1 in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Muzi Sibiya has been found guilty of possession of drugs and unlawful possession of ammunition at the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Sibiya was charged with drug dealing when he was first arrested by Constable Mudau and Constable Baloyi on 19 March 2019, but the charges were later withdrawn. He was then re-arrested just over a year later by Sergeant Batho Mogola on the 30th of May 2020, when new evidence was found against him.

When he was arrested in May 2020, police said they found nine rounds of live ammunition in his room in Tembisa. He was subsequently charged with illegal possession of ammunition.

However, Magistrate Jerome Josephs acquitted Sibiya of the charge of dealing in drugs. But he found him guilty of the alternative charge of possession.

Spotting a white t-shirt and blue jeans, Sibiya looked rather calm throughout the reading of his judgement as he sat alone in the dock, in a small magistrate’s court, full of media personnel.

When he was arrested in 2019,  Magistrate Josephs says the court heard from the police officers who carried out the arrest that 10 sachets of heroin were found in the accused’s pocket as well as notes amounting to R580 – all of which were taken in as exhibits.

Reading the judgement, Magistrate Josephs says that according to the evidence led in court, the police officers who arrested him told the court that Sibiya had told them the substance found in his pocket was Nyaope and that the money was the proceeds of dealing in drugs.

But this was denied by Sibiya.

“The accused’s version was that he was never found with the drugs and money and that when the police arrived while he was with his friends and when they did so, they ran off. They were then chased down by the police and he was arrested and he was taken to Chloorkop where he was assaulted and questioned on Senzo Meyiwa’s murder,” says Josephs, reading from the judgement.

The Tembisa Magistrate’s Court has also had to deal with allegations of assault and torture by Sibiya upon his arrest.

According to the defense’ version, which was rejected by the court, upon his arrest Sibiya “was taken to Chloorkop where he was questioned about Senzo Meyiwa’s murder. He was assaulted and his head was covered with a plastic bag. His clothes were taken off and he was then told he was being arrested for drugs and his fingerprints were then taken”.

The court has rejected this version saying the officers who arrested Sibiya in 2019 could not have been investigating the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s murder since they knew nothing about the case and were junior constables.

Sibiya, who is the first accused in the Meyiwa murder trial at the Pretoria High Court, has maintained allegations of assault against the police saying when he was arrested on the 30th of May 2020 he was subjected to torture before he signed a confession statement in Diepkloof, Soweto, later on that day.

The trial within a trial in Pretoria is hearing arguments on the admissibility of that confession statement as well as two alleged confession statements by his fellow accused, Bongani Ntanzi, in the Meyiwa trial.

Following his arrest, the high court in Pretoria heard how Sibiya, during a conversation with Sergeant Mogola, made admissions about Meyiwa’s murder outside the Vusumuzi hostel in Tembisa before a Peace Officer, Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho, was arranged to take down the confession statement in Soweto a few hours later.

However, in a new turn of events, Magistrate Josephs, reading from his judgement, noted that Mogola had denied in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court that Sibiya had been taken to Soweto.

It was Sibiya’s version in Tembisa that he was arrested in Tembisa, taken to Chloorkop where he was assaulted, and then to Soweto before he was detained in Pretoria.

Sibiya is currently serving 12 years for the attempted murder of his girlfriend in Vosloorus. He will be back in Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on the 18th of January 2024 when sentencing proceedings in the drugs and unlawful possession of firearm case will commence.