Defence in Meyiwa case unable to cross examine ballistic expert

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The defence in the Senzo Meyiwa trial has informed the court that there are outstanding funds to pay for their own expert and therefore are unable to cross examine ballistic expert Chris Mangena at this stage. The trial was postponed three weeks ago to allow the defence to prepare for the cross examination of Mangena, who has linked a gun found in possession of accused number 3 to the Meyiwa murder.

Five men are on trial for the murder of the Bafana Bafana soccer star who was shot and killed in 2014.

Defence counsel Charles Mnisi says although the family of the accused has raised some money, it is not enough to pay for their ballistic expert.

“When we got the invoice, we realised that the is no chance that they will be able to afford it. Even myself I could not have been able to afford it, let alone his appearance. Then we formulated an opinion that we needed to get an alternative funding which is a reason why we went to the legal aid board. This was not out of our own making.”

Meanwhile, Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng says the defence should have anticipated that the services of the ballistic expert will not come cheap. Mokgoathleng has requested that the head of the legal aid board should come to court to explain if they will be able to pay the outstanding amount.

“They postponed it in August to consult with a legal ballistics expert and they know that this gentleman doesn’t come cheap. I mean, you are all practicing lawyers. And then eight months down the line, nothing has happened, because at the moment nothing has happened. Okay. Can you find the head of the legal aid? They must come maybe tomorrow.”