The investigating team in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case had no “hidden agenda” when they arrested accused 1, Muzi Sibiya, for a drug-related charge on the afternoon of the 30th of May 2020 in Tembisa while he was being investigated in the murder case of the former soccer star, says Brigadier Bongani Gininda.
The lead investigator in the murder case faced questions relating to a possible ulterior motive when Sibiya was arrest for drugs and a few hours later a confession statement was allegedly taken from him by Colonel Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho at the Diepkloof Police Station.
Defense counsel for accused 1 and 2, Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, first charged at Gininda putting it to him that when Sibiya was arrested they did not have any evidence linking him to the murder of the former Bafana Bafana captain.
Mngomezulu: In relation to CAS 636 on his interrogation or interview regarding the death of Senzo Meyiwa, the state at that time had no evidence that linked accused 1 with the death of Senzo Meyiwa.
Gininda: I am not sure, my lord. When we went to him there were fingers pointing to him that he was involved in the Senzo Meyiwa case and as we arrested him we found more evidence that we found and that is why we are standing here.
Mngomezulu: I understand the logic of your answer, but the question still stands, when he was arrested on the 30th of May, the state had no evidence against the accused until he made the alleged confession.
Gininda: I disagree my lord. For one to focus on a specific individual, there must a basis in a form of statement, intelligence or a source saying this person committed a crime. You can’t just go and question a person when that person is not implicated.
In a shocking 180-degrees, Mngomezulu came short of putting it to Gininda that the police should not have been in possession of any other incriminating information relating to other cases, when they arrested him for the drug case on the 30th of May.
Mngomezulu put it to Gininda that when Sergeant Batho-Bakae Mogola executed the warrant of arrest on that day, “she had prior knowledge of information linking accused 1 to Senzo Meyiwa’s murder”, a complete turnaround from the earlier proposition that the investigating team had no evidence until the alleged confession post the arrest.
In response, Gininda said having such information would not be a crime.
“Sergeant Mogola was part of the investigation team and I have already indicated, my lord, that when this affidavit was deposed, we were seized with a docket and suddenly, we get a link that points us to two individuals and analysis around these individuals was done,” says Gininda.
In a lengthy response, the head of the National Cold Case unit told the court about cases the accused has already been convicted relating to a case where he was charged for shooting a police officer.
“And these cases related to accused 1 were picked up; Tembisa case and it was not the only case, there was the Vosloorus case where he was tried and finalized with a conviction. When he was approached on the Tembisa case, this was not the only warrant. There was a warrant of arrest in so far as the Vosloorus case where he shot a female officer there. I don’t mean to defame. I am just trying to show this was not the only case. So, to say there was hidden agenda. There was another warrant that was existing and eventually, after arresting him on the Tembisa case, the Vosloorus matter was then executed, he was tried and finalized with a conviction. So, there was no hidden agenda and that was before the matter before this court.”
Mogola previously told the court that no long after the Sibiya was arrested, as they parked outside a hostel in Vusumuzi section in Tembisa, Sibiya had told her he knew the day he would have to take responsibility for Meyiwa would one day come.
“He started to tell me about his knowledge or his involvement in the matter and I stopped him and I told him he was not compelled to make any confession and that he had the right to consult and that a lawyer could provide to him at the state’s expense. And then he said, ‘right now, I don’t need a lawyer’, says Mogola, an officer of 18 years attached to the Cold Case Unit.
“That’s why I further I asked him why he was telling me now. He even asked me what did I mean by that. I told him you saw people were wrongfully arrested and the matter remains unresolved and why didn’t you come forward and tell the police that, like what you are telling me? And, my lord, he said he knew that one day he has to take responsibility for the murder of Senzo Meyiwa.”
The trial continues.