Defense accuses Tumelo Madlala of testifying to ‘protect’ himself from being charged

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The pending decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on CAS Voslooorus CAS 375/1/2019 could influence the way state witness, Tumelo Madlala, conducts himself in the Senzo Meyiwa trial currently under way at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

This was a contentious submission by Advocate Zandile Mshololo during her cross-examination of Madlala which brought matters to a standstill in court, when the state fiercely objected to the defense’s on the line of question on documents that have yet to be decided on by the NPA. 

Advocate Mshololo relied on a letter by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) seeking to clarify whether the people who were in the house when Meyiwa was shot and killed will be charged. In the letter, the NPA, as read by Mshololo in court, states that the decision on whether the people who were in Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s house will be charged, will among other issues depend on the credibility of the findings of the current trial. 

“The decision will be based on the credibility findings of this case and that includes the manner in which you, Mr. Madlala, testify before this court. So, this means that as you testify here (with the pending decision) you will want to try, by all means, to protect yourself,” charged Mshololo. 

Counsel for accused one to four also rose to support the submission by Mshololo saying Madlala would never want the five accused acquitted of the charges they are currently facing as that would open the possibility of Madlala being charged as one of those who were in the house before Meyiwa was murdered. 

Details of the port-mortem results came under the spotlight when Mshololo mentioned to Madlala that his testimony that Meyiwa was shot from the back was contradicted by a pathology report which states that the former Orlando Pirates keeper was shot in the front, with the body exiting on his back.  

According to Madlala when the shot went off the alleged second intruder had his back against the wall in the kitchen while Meyiwa had faced him. Madlala says Longwe Twala – who had run out immediately after the alleged first intruder, armed with a gun, had entered the house – was not in the house when the shot was fired.

Kelly Khumalo, her mother Gladness, and sister Zandi were busy assaulting the alleged first armed intruder with his (Madlala) crutch. Moments earlier, Kelly had run into a room and come out and Madlala was unable to tell them what she could have had in her hands when she emerged from the bedroom.  

Advocate Mshololo also earlier questioned Madlala on whether he had not called the police when he ran into the bedroom. 

According to Madlala, Twala who had run out of the house had also not called the police, only saying that he was running to get back-up. Madlala has confirmed that no back-up arrived. 

The trial continues.

The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial continues in the Pretoria High Court: