‘Accused 2 applied for unpaid leave before Meyiwa murder’

The accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at the high court in Pretoria.
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The second accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Bongani Ntanzi, had applied to be on unpaid leave for five consecutive days starting with the Monday after former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa’s murder.

On the day Meyiwa was killed, Ntanzi was not at work. But according to the mine’s Human Resource officer, Hendrik Mulder who took to the stand on Tuesday afternoon, Ntanzi was not expected to be at work anyway on that Sunday since his didn’t work on Sundays as per his contract. At the time, Ntanzi worked at the Sibanye Gold Mine’s Driefontein shaft in Carletonville where he was dismissed in February 2016 for absconding from work.

“On the 25th, it reflects that Mr Ntanzi entered the premises at 03h55 and proceeded to the building at 03h56 and then entered the work area at 03h57. He clocked out at 06h01 on the 25th of October. “

Mulder says Ntanzi left the premises at 06h57 on the 25th of October 2014 and was never at the mine’s hostel until he returned on the 2nd of November.

In the first statement made by Mulder, read out in court by defence counsel Sipho Ramosepele for accused 1 and 2, Mulder is quoted as saying Ntanzi was away from work from the 27th of October until the 02nd of November without permission. He however says it was a mistake to say, in his first statement, that Ntanzi had been away from work without permission.

Mulder conceded that the accused’s unpaid leave request was approved by his line manager.

According to Ramosepele, when Ntanzi left his workplace the day before Meyiwa’s murder, he travelled to the KwaZulu-Natal, where he was going to pay lobola for his girlfriend and he had told the court previously that there are bank statements which would prove that he indeed was in KZN.

However, the state’s attempts to submit Ntanzi’s bank statements to the court on Tuesday afternoon hit a snag when defence counsel for accused 3, Advocate Charles Mnisi, objected saying all defence counsels needed to be furnished with the statements even though the state felt it related to accused 2 only.

Mnisi argued if the state is submitting that all the accused acted in common purpose to murder the former Bafana Bafana captain they could not now say the bank statements evidence was limited to accused 2, arguing that they too should be afforded an opportunity to peruse the statements and challenge them if need be.

This prompted the judge to order a recall to the stand of Mulder whose testimony related to accused 2 and was never cross-examined by other counsels.

Mulder is expected to be back in court on Wednesday to be cross-examined by the other defence counsels.

DNA at crime scene

All five on trial have been excluded from DNA swabs that were taken from the crime scene of Meyiwa’s murder. None of them can even be partially linked or partially excluded according to DNA expert Captain Mmapshedi Masetla, giving testimony at the High Court in Pretoria, on Tuesday morning, on DNA results and comparisons between swabs taken from the scene and DNA profiles of the accused.

The accused, who have pleaded not guilty to all the charges, have also been excluded from the scotch hat that was found on the scene and taken in as an exhibit.

The court has previously heard from the eyewitness that the hat had belonged to the alleged shorter intruder who had dreadlocks, carrying a gun.

However, this court has now, through DNA expert Captain Mampshedi Masetla, heard that the hat cannot conclusively be linked to any of the five accused in court.

Masetla has told the court that Ntanzi could be read in 10 out of the 16 DNA swabs, while Mncube could be read in 7 out of 16 and as a result, both could not be conclusively linked since they were not read in all the regions as procedurally required.

“To conclusively link a person as a contributor to a DNA sample, you have to read them in all of the regions. Reading a person in one region doesn’t mean they are a contributor in that sample,” says Masetla.

“Even if you have to read a person in more than one (it’s not enough). You have to read him in all the regions to say they are involved,” he adds.

Masetla says no region is more important than the other, say they attached the importance to all of the regions put together.

“For us to say you are a contributor, you have to be read in all the DNA regions.”

In a bid to amplify the DNA regions both Ntanzi and Mncube could be read in 10 and 7 out of 16 respectively – State Advocate George Baloyi asked if there was a chance of a “midpoint” or “partial inclusion”.

Masetla has rejected this saying if there was no match in one reading, the result would read “not concluded.”

The trial will continues tomorrow.