Thwala to answer question of ‘who moved Meyiwa after shooting’ when trial resumes

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As Mthokozisi Thwala, a friend of former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, is expected to continue giving testimony under cross-examination on Wednesday, one of the big questions expected to come up today is  “Who moved Meyiwa after he was shot?”

The matter has to be stood down on Tuesday and postponed to Wednesday after the interpreter fails to arrive. Five men are being tried for the murder of the Bafana Bafana football player.

Before the months-long adjournment last year, Meyiwa’s friend, Tumelo Madlala, who was the first person present in the house on the night the former Bafana Bafana star was shot and killed, told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that he found Meyiwa on the right side of the sitting room where there were blood splatters. He told the court this was when he emerged from the bedroom wherein he had run after a shot had gone off during the commotion in the kitchen.

However, Thwala, under cross-examination on Monday, told the court that he had found Meyiwa on the opposite side in the sitting room. This was away from where the blood splatters could be seen on one of the images taken in the house as an exhibit.

Thwala has also told the court that before he could get to Meyiwa in the sitting room, he had helped Madlala, who was locked up in the bedroom, come out using a spoon to come out.

When Madlala came out of the bedroom, he told the court that he found Kelly, Zandi, Gladness, Mthokozisi Thwala and Kelly’s child, with Meyiwa lying on the floor with a bullet wound.

Before Thwala returned to find Meyiwa with the bullet wound, he told the court that he ran out of the house immediately after a shot had gone off, ran out of the yard of Kelly Khumalo’s home, jumped the neighbour’s gate before he jumped back into the Khumalo household with the neighbours.

“I ran out of the kitchen through the kitchen door and Senzo was coming towards the side of the fridge and I was running towards the door,” says Thwala about moments after the shot went off amid the commotion in the kitchen which involved the alleged two intruders.

“I went out and after that, I might have heard a second gunshot while I was there,” recalled Thwala.

Asked if he was certain he had heard the second shot, Thwala responded, “Yes, I can’t really say because the first one just made me crazy.”

He says it was at this time he noticed that the alleged second intruder was chasing after him out of the house and the yard.

Judge: Was he chasing you or just running behind you?

Thwala: I can’t really say, because even when I went next door, he followed me a little bit.

Thwala says upon his return to the house after he had heard screams and had been assured by Kelly’s mother, Gladness Khumalo, that the gunman had left the house, he found Meyiwa lying on the left side of the sitting room.

This is in contradiction with Madlala’s testimony, which begs the question “Who moved Meyiwa from the left where Thwala had found him to the right where Madlala saw him?”

According to Thwala, the only thing he did when he got to Meyiwa was to lift up his t-shirt and note the bullet wound on his chest and realised at that time that he had been shot.

There have previously been questions about whether Meyiwa was still alive when he was found lying in the sitting room. However, both Thwala and Madlala have told the court that Meyiwa was alive which was why he was taken to hospital.

According to Thwala, he found Meyiwa gasping for air and looked like he wanted to say something on their way to the hospital.

“We then drove to Botshelong, I think that’s the name of the hospital, which was not far from Kelly’s home. We were all saying things to Senzo and I was telling him to think of his kids. I could see that his gasping was going down. There was a moment he held my hand and I could see it was going down,” says Thwala.

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. The 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.

On Monday, defence attorney Sipho Ramosepele confronted Thwala about one of his statements, in which he stated that Longwe Twala jumped to the “suspect” and tried to wrestle a gun from him before letting go of the gun in “the suspect’s hands.”

Thwala says this was a mistake and had deposed another statement correcting that error.


BREAKING NEWS: Govender brothers sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for attempted murder, 3 years for grievous bodily harm and 12 months for assault common. For more visit http://sabcnews.com