Judge in Senzo Meyiwa murder case cites ‘conspiracies doing rounds’

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The justice system should not be seen to be allowing attempts to sweep issues under the carpet during the Senzo Meyiwa trial. This is the view of Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.  

In a ruling on counsel for the fifth accused, Advocate Zandile Mshololo’s motion to have a statement of the late Brigadier Johan Ndlovu admitted in court, Maumela stated that not allowing the statement would harm the reputation of the justice system and would be detrimental to justice.

“There are so many conspiracies doing rounds around role-players, including us … and all of that casts aspersions on the credibility of the justice system and some of those were verbalised here in court,” says Maumela.  

“Therefore, it is my view that allowing the reading of this statement in court would be in the interest of justice.” 

The State’s Advocate George Baloyi had objected to the admissibility of Ndlovu’s statement, saying it would not be in the interest of justice since he was deceased and would not be able to answer for himself.   

However, Advocate Mshololo says while it is known that Ndlovu cannot answer for himself as he is late, the person who commissioned the statement in July 2019, Colonel Busisiwe Ndlovu, was still alive and could always be called to confirm the authenticity of the statement.  

The court has taken an earlier lunch adjournment to allow the legal teams to make copies of the statement before it can be read in court.    

Ndlovu was the police officer who called state witness Sergeant Thabo Mosia to attend to the crime scene in Vosloorus on the night former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed when, according to the version of the state, two intruders stormed into Meyiwa’s girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s house and demanded cellphone before a scuffle ensued and Meyiwa was shot. 

Mosia has previously told the court that he had had to start at the police station to get directions to the crime scene since Ndlovu had not given him the address. However, Mosia also admitted in court that despite not having obtained the address from Ndlovu, he had found Ndlovu at the crime scene and that he had taken pictures of the crime scene under his instruction. 

The defence has previously used these discrepancies to paint a picture of crime scene tampering and a big cover-up which involved the police.  

Judge Maumela on Tuesday came short of insinuating crime scene tampering by talking about “onlookers” who had descended onto the scene following the shooting, saying “the script does not seem to tally with issues of how a crime scene should be handled.”  

Advocate Mshololo is expected to zoom in on contradictions between Ndlovu and Mosia’s statements after the lunch break.