Defense in Meyiwa trial grill witness on accused two’s detention

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The defense in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has questioned the police officer who arrested accused two in the matter of why he was charged with the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s death only four months later.

Bongani Ntanzi was arrested on the 16th of June 2020 and according to Sergeant Vusumuzi Mogane, it was only on the 26th of October 2020, that he was charged with the murder.

The defense has also taken the witness on the 18 hours they spent with the accused the day before he confessed.

After he was booked out of the police’s holding cells on the morning of the 18th of June 2020, Ntanzi was only booked back into custody in Pretoria in what the defense has labeled, “The ungodly hours” of the next morning.

The High Court in Pretoria is hearing arguments on the trial within a trial looking into the admissibility of confession statements by the accused is ongoing.

Under cross-examination, Sergeant Mogane has maintained that after HR records at the mine had contradicted Ntanzi’s version that he was at the mine on the day Meyiwa was murdered, Ntanzi, on his own volition, volunteered to tell the truth.

Witness Vusumuzi Mogane says, ” Ntate Mngomezulu, I would like to ask that your client tell you the truth and not speak lies. After we left the mine, after we got information that he was not there, we parked on the side of the road and he asked to speak to Gininda and Gininda had to come into our car. Gininda asked what was wrong. He said that since they deny I was here, I would like to tell the truth. He read him his rights and when he started talking, Brig Gininda stopped him and told him that since he was the lead investigator in the case, he would get someone neutral to take down the statement. When we parted, he asked him if he was satisfied and he said he was.”

While Ntanzi was first arrested on the 16th of June 2020, it was only just over four months later that he was charged with the murder of the former Bafana Bafana Captain.

The defense has used it to argue that Ntanzi was in unlawful detention for a month before he was charged.

Defense, Thulani Mngomezulu: So, he was not arrested on the 26th of October?

Witness, Vusumuzi Mogane: Yes.

Mngomezulu: He was arrested on the 16 of June?

Mogane: Yes

Mngomezulu: So, the 48 hours passed by months?

Mogane: Let me explain this, when he was arrested, he was not arrested for this case. There were other cases.

Mogane has insisted that while Ntanzi confessed in relation to Meyiwa’s murder three days following his June 16 arrest, the arrest had nothing to do with the Vosloorus murder, and as a result, he could not have been illegally detained leading up to the 26 October official indictment.

The defense has argued the police had a duty to officially charge Ntanzi with Meyiwa’s murder from the moment he made his first confession, arguing that at that time they had a prima facie case against the accused.

The state differed.

“My learned colleague’s proposition is incorrect. it doesn’t mean once confession has been made the accused must appear within 48 hours. that proposition is incorrect. More evidence was still being gathered,” says Prosecutor George Baloyi.

Senzo Meyiwa Murder Trial | 06 November 2023: