Meyiwa’s friend Thwala blames statement contradictions on officer who wrote them

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa’s longtime friend, Mthokozisi Thwala, has put the blame on contradiction in his statement one the officers who commissioned them.

During cross-examination, attorney Sipho Ramosepele took Thwala through the contents of the statements he says he did a day after two intruders entered Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s home in Vosloorus.

In his evidence-in-chief, Thwala corroborated, Kelly’s sister, Zandile Khumalo’s version that the first intruder who was short, had dreadlocks with a hat on and was followed behind by a taller intruder who had a hoodie on, which covered his head.

However, in a statement Thwala deposed immediately after the incident, he says it is the dreadlocked alleged intruder who wore a hoodie and the other second intruder is the one who had a hat on.

“The suspect was wearing a hoodie and the hoodie was covering his head and the I could see the dreadlocks protruding through the hoodie near his ears,” reads the statement in part.

Thwala says the mistake was committed by the officer that wrote the statement.

“Shibiri made a mistake. The hoodie was worn by the second suspect. I have already said the one with dreadlocks was wearing a hat. He’s no confusing the hoodie and the hat,” says Thwala.

In reference to the alleged second intruder in the statement, Thwala is quoted as saying, “I can remember that the second suspect was wearing a hat but I do not know the colour of the hat.”

He has put all this down to a “misunderstanding” between him and the officer writing down the statement.

On Wednesday, Thwala told the court about how he had refused to sign a confession statement pinning the crime on him during torture by two men in the office of the investigating officer in the controversial second docket, CAS 375/02/2019, Colonel Joyce Buthelezi in Pretoria. He says even when he was told to make a statement saying he was in the house when Meyiwa was shot, he refused.

On Thursday, he has continued to tell the court further that he was not happy with how he was quoted by the author of a book Meyiwa’s life and how he was not happy the changes he had suggested were never effected.

Ramosepele has argued that on this backdrop attention to details, Thwala could not have signed the statement he now tells the court is laden with mistakes by the officer who wrote down what he was saying.

The defense is expected to continue cross-examining Thwala with more focus on crime scene tampering, the number of shots he heard, among other things.

He has told the court that on the day, before the two alleged intruders stormed into the house, he had consumed two cans of Hunters Gold, with the third already open.

However, picture of exhibits from the scene, only show cans of Heineken and Smirnoff Guarrana.

He has also told the court that he ran out of the house after the first shot went off and only heard the second shot when he was already outside, during a scuffle that took no more than five minutes.

Zandile Khumalo has told the court that she heard three shots, the first while she was in the kitchen and two after she had run to the bathroom.

Neighbour Nthabiseng Mokete, who says she was in the car with her friend Yolanda Motha on the street when it all happened, has a different view of the three shots she heard and the men she saw run down the street.

The trial continues.