New witness expected at Meyiwa murder trial

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The State is expected to call a new witness when the Senzo Meyiwa trial resumes in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

On Monday, the court heard that two of the accused were found in possession of cellphones in their prison cells.

A cellphone was found in possession of accused 5 Fisokuhle Ntuli while he was detailed at Qalakabusha Prison in Empangeni KwaZulu-Natal on 19 August 2020.

Five men are on trial for the 2014 murder of the Bafana Bafana captain.

Sibusiso Yaka, who was head of prison at Qalabusha prison then, says he is the one that informed lead investigator Brigadier Bongani Gininda after the said handset was allegedly found Ntuli’s possession.

Yaka: I opened and there were three males. I then asked the one who had a cellphone to hand it over to me.
Baloyi: Who was that person?
Yaka: It was Fisokuhle Ntuli. The phone was on the bed and he handed it over to me. I then closed the cell and went back to the office. I informed my superior that I was worried about what this phone was used for. I called the investigators who had come earlier to investigate who he was talking to and asked that they inform us if an escape was being planned so that we tighten our security.

Earlier, the defence informed the court that there are outstanding funds to pay for their own expert and therefore are unable to cross examine ballistic expert Chris Mangena at this stage. The trial was postponed three weeks ago to allow the defence to prepare for the cross examination of Mangena, who has linked a gun found in possession of accused number 3 to the Meyiwa murder.

Five men are on trial for the murder of the Bafana Bafana soccer star who was shot and killed in 2014.

Defence counsel Charles Mnisi says although the family of the accused has raised some money, it is not enough to pay for their ballistic expert.

“When we got the invoice, we realised that the is no chance that they will be able to afford it. Even myself I could not have been able to afford it, let alone his appearance. Then we formulated an opinion that we needed to get an alternative funding which is a reason why we went to the legal aid board. This was not out of our own making.”

Meanwhile, Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng says the defence should have anticipated that the services of the ballistic expert will not come cheap. Mokgoathleng has requested that the head of the legal aid board should come to court to explain if they will be able to pay the outstanding amount.

“They postponed it in August to consult with a legal ballistics expert and they know that this gentleman doesn’t come cheap. I mean, you are all practicing lawyers. And then eight months down the line, nothing has happened, because at the moment nothing has happened. Okay. Can you find the head of the legal aid? They must come maybe tomorrow.”

Monday’s court proceedings: