Drama at Senzo Meyiwa trial – ‘What annoyed me is being in the same room with the intruder’

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Moments before Tumelo Madlala could get into moments before the shooting happened, punctuated by some deep stares exchange with some of the accused, he stood up from the witness stand and demanded a five-minute break.

With his voice raised, he has now told the court he did so because “What annoyed me yesterday was to be in the same room with that person” who was in the house the night Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed. 

There was tension in court when Madlala came short of pointing one of the five accused as one of the intruders who stormed into Kelly Khumalo’s home and demanded cellphones and money before a fight ensued leading to the death of the former Orlando Pirates keeper. 

With the court in complete silence, all five accused leaned forward seated in the dock and eyes firmly fixed on the witness, Madlala theatrically told the court he was even ready to identify the intruder even yesterday. 

The defense interjected saying the basis for a dock identification had not been sufficiently laid by the state to allow the witness to point out the suspect.  

According to the defense, a formal identity parade should have been organised based on the description given by the witness and other people when the identikit was drawn a few days after Meyiwa was killed.
Madlala has confirmed that he only attended one ID parade in which he could not identify any of the people there as intruders.  

“At that ID parade, there is no one that I pointed out because I couldn’t recognised as one of the people who entered the house. After the ID parade, I think we went back to the house. We went to fetch our phones from the police station. There’s a gentleman who accompanied me. His name is Mandla. He’s the one who gave me the money to go back home.” 

Madlala says the identikit and the ID parade happened within the three days that he remained in Johannesburg after the shooting. 

Since the arrest and charging of the five accused, there has not been an ID parade which the defense is saying cannot now happen in court. 

The defense says procedurally the state has to make submissions with the description of the suspect or simply lay the basis before a dock identification can be carried out in court.  

The state, in its defense, had prepared heads of argument to the question “Can you identify the suspect among the accused?” to be allowed in court. 

It is understood that the judge has the discretion to allow a dock identification, but for record purposes, the defense objected in the event there’s a guilty verdict and an appeal is launched. 

Baloyi: “Is there any other identification parade?”

Mshololo: “No, my lord, the witness has answered that question.”

Baloyi: “My lord, we submit that the basis has been laid for that question to be asked.”

Mshololo: “My lord, I am still waiting for the basis to be laid.”

Judge: “He says he has laid the basis.”

Mshololo: “By referring to the identikit?”

Judge: “You cannot ask me.”

Earlier, Madlala told the court about how Kelly Khumalo refused to open for the police when they were at a complex in Mulbarton where Kelly stayed with Meyiwa. According to Madlala, they had just arrived at the house in Mulbarton on the wee house of 27 October 2014 when the police arrived.

He says when the police requested access via the security at the gate, Kelly refused and when she noticed the police peeping through the window, she asked that they switch off the electricity, while she made a call.  

“Since she had refused, I don’t know how the police ended up gaining access. I think Kelly saw the police as they were trying to peep through the window because Kelly instructed that the electricity should be switched. After the electricity was switched off, I don’t know who Kelly called because I think a certain order came through and the police left the premises. Then the electricity was switched on again.” 

Meyiwa’s childhood friend says a day or two later Longwe Twala’s father, music producer Chicco, arrived and offered Kelly an overseas trip. 

“I don’t know on which day, but after a few days, Chicco Twala arrived. I remember him asking him if Kelly didn’t want to go on a vacation overseas.” 

State’s Advocate Baloyi stopped the witness as he was about to talk about what he had also heard Chicco saying on a phone call. 

After much back and forth between the legal teams on whether the witness could point out the person, he’d seen the case was adjourned to Thursday when the legal teams will deliberate whether to allow the state question. 

The defense has further asked that the witness bring the flight ticket to court tomorrow saying they had questions around. This is after the witness could not take the stand on Monday because of travel issues.  

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