Mthokozisi Thwala, the second witness who was in the house the night former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed, has faced some questioning in the former keeper’s murder trial on Wednesday.
According to Thwala, an intruder with a gun entered the house and demanded cellphones and money; Longwe Twala stood up and pushed the gunman as he ran out of the house; then Meyiwa and Tumelo Madlala rose as Meyiwa started pushing the gunman towards the kitchen. That’s what Thwala says he saw but despite being witness to that pushing he says he is unable to explain how it happened.
He says this is so because it was at this time that he turned his back on the pushing as he went to grab his phone which was on the TV stand.
Defense for accused 3, Advocate Charles Mnisi sought to get a detailed account of exactly of what happened on the night of 26 October 2014 when allegedly two intruders invaded Kelly Khumalo’s home in Vosloorus and demanded cellphones and money before Meyiwa was murdered.
Mnisi: You are able to say they are pushing each other towards the kitchen. Is that now what you are saying?
Mnisi: Now, describe it. You saw it.
Thwala: I wouldn’t be able to.
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“If you are unable to describe it, then why do you say there was a pushing?” asked Mnisi.
“I think I did mention it. Senzo stood up and when I saw that they were pushing each other towards the kitchen, that’s when I turned around to fetch my phone,” says Thwala.
Mnisi has accused Thwala of trying to evade answering how the pushing unfolded.
“I will put it to you that you are intentionally trying to evade to describe how the pushing took place,” says Mnisi.
“I hear you and that’s your opinion.”
Thwala’s version of events is in contradiction with what Madlala previously told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. According to Madlala, in the kitchen, the alleged intruder with the gun was on the floor being assaulted by Zandi Khumalo and her mother, Gladness, using Madlala’s crutches.
According to Madlala, it was at this point that Meyiwa had pressed the alleged second, taller intruder against the wall moments before a shot went off.
However, Thwala has told the court that the alleged intruder that Meyiwa wrestled with was the gunman, which is the same intruder that Zandi and her mother were assaulting with Madlala’s crutches. According to Madlala, the gunman was on the floor, which is something Thwala has not mentioned in his testimony despite saying this happened right in front of him as he stood next to the fridge in the kitchen when all of this unfolded.
According to Madlala, only one of his crutches was used to assault the gunman who was on the floor, while according to Thwala, Zandi and mother used both crutches.
In 2020, Muzi Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonnke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli were charged with Meyiwa’s murder, attempted murder of other witnesses, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is the state’s case that on the night of 26 October 2014, two intruders allegedly stormed into Kelly Khumalo’s mother, Gladness’ house in Vosloorus where Meyiwa, Madlala, Gladness, Kelly, Zandi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, and Mthokozisi Thwala were sitting in the lounge watching TV. T
he alleged first intruder, who was short, had a hat on, had dreadlocks and armed with a gun, is said to have demanded cellphones and money. This was moments before he was pushed over by Longwe Twala as he (Longwe) ran out of the house just before a commotion ensued in the house in the presence of the second alleged intruder, before a shot that killed Meyiwa went off.