Incompetent officers hindered Meyiwa’s murder investigation: Advocate Mshololo

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Counsel for the 5th accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Advocate Zandile Mshololo says the murder case has been poorly investigated because it was attended by inexperienced police officers.

Mshololo is currently cross-examining the 2nd state witness, Sergeant Patrick Mthethwa, who was among the first police officers to arrive at the house where Meyiwa was shot.

On Thursday, the court heard evidence from Sergeant Patrick Mthethwa, who was the first to arrive at the scene with his colleague.

He is the second witness to take the stand in the trial.

Mthethwa has contradicted the evidence of the first witness sergeant Thabo Mosia on details surrounding his arrival at the crime scene.

Mosia testified that he found the late police brigadier Johan Ndlovu on the scene who gave him direction. But Mthethwa says this was not the case and it was in fact Mosia who arrived before Ndlovu. He says it was also captain Zwane and not Ndlovu who first briefed Mosia on what transpired at the shooting.

In his cross-examination, Mthetwa defended himself saying he could not cordon off the crime scene upon arrival as he did not know what had happened at the scene.

Mshololo: And it is your evidence that constable Mosia arrived before Brigadier Ndlovu?

Mthethwa: Yes.

Mshololo: So, when constable Mosia testified that he arrived at the scene and then he found brigadier Ndlovu already at the crime scene that is not correct?

Mthethwa: I don’t know where he took it or got it from when he said he arrived first. But it’s not so? Yes, that is correct.

Mthethwa, who was a constable at the time, failed to inspect and secure the scenes, leaving them in the hands of one of the people who claimed to be a family member and rushed to the hospital where Meyiwa was rushed to.

He only cordoned off the house the 2nd time around, when he came back from the hospital when the Provincial Task Team took over.

Earlier, Mthethwa refused to state his level of qualifications, saying it is irrelevant to the trial.

Incompetent officers

Mshololo has suggested that Mthethwa and his colleagues, who were the first to arrive at the scene, were incompetent.

Advocate Mshololo asks the accused, “…Did it ring into your mind that the people who were firing shots can come back and pick up the exhibits? It didn’t ring into your mind?”

Mthethwa replies, “No it did not.”

Mshololo then adds, “You know the reason why it never rang in your mind is that you were inexperienced at that crime scene. All of you were juniors; there was no one to supervise the duties you were supposed to do as members of SAPS attending such an important crime scene.”

Mthethwa concurred saying “Ok.”

Mshololo concludes by saying the case has been poorly investigated because it was attended by inexperienced police officers first.

Senzo Meyiwa murder trial: Chriselda Lewis updates