Tumelo Madlala identifies third accused as the first intruder with gun

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Accused number 3, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, may have been the first intruder who broke into the Khumalo family home in Vosloorus on the evening of 26 October 2014, a court has heard on Thursday.

State witness Tumelo Madlala had earlier named accused number 2, Bongani Ntazi, as one of the assailants.

This is after Madlala earlier pointed out Ntanzi as the tall guy who was pressed against the wall by Meyiwa – the guy Madlala had stood up and punched on his face while his back was against the wall – before a shot went off.

In the post-lunch proceedings, TT Thobane representing accused 1 to 4, began by asking Madlala on which hand the first intruder had the gun when he stormed into the house wearing a scotch hat and a brown or caramel jacket. 

“I think on his right hand,” replied Madlala. 

Thobane put it to the witness that Ncube was left-handed, to which Madlala responded, “I don’t know about that.” 

However, when it was put to Madlala that on the day of the shooting the 38-year-old Ncube, who’s currently serving 35 years for a different crime, didn’t have dreadlocks, Madlala disputed this. 

“Those are lies,” he claimed.   

According to Madlala, the first intruder had short dreadlocks as per the identikit that was drawn days after the incident.  

Thobane spent time trying to punch holes in the witness’s version, which is also the state’s case, that two intruders stormed into the house and demanded cellphones and money, moments before a scuffle between those who were in the house ensued resulting in the fatal shot that took Meyiwa’s life. 

Madlala dismissed any other version as lies and made up, insisting Meyiwa was not accidentally shot by one of the people who were in the house. 

According to Thobane, the gun that killed Meyiwa was first produced by Longwe Twala who arrived angry at the fact that Meyiwa was having a romantic relationship with his girlfriend at the time, Zandi Khumalo – who is the sister of Meyiwa’s girlfriend and mother of his daughter.  

Thobane: “I put it to you that after Longwe came in there, there was a commotion.” 

Madlala: “There was no such. He came in and he was speaking to Zandi.”  

Thobane: “As I told you, Senzo had a relationship with Zandi and Longwe didn’t like that.” 

Madlala: “I don’t know about that.” 

Thobane: “I further put it to you that the witness that will come here will say people were arguing.” 

Madlala: “Those are lies.”  

Under cross-examination, the defense is expected to interrogate Madlala on the size of the kitchen and his version of events.

Earlier this week, Madlala told the court that while Meyiwa pressed Ntanzi against the wall in the kitchen, Gladness Khumalo together with his two daughters Zandi and Kelly were assaulting the first short intruder with Madlala’s crutches, during which a shot went off.

How all of that happened in the small kitchen at the same is expected to become one of the focal points for the defense as they try to punch holes in the state’s case.

The four different police statements made by Madlala have also come under scrutiny under cross-examination.

It is understood since the incident that took place in 2014, Madlala has at different times made statements under oath which in some instances are contradictory in details.  

Madlala, on Tuesday, told the North Gauteng High Court that Longwe was the first to react, pushing one of the intruders on his way out. 

“When he pushed this guy at the opening, that’s when the people who were in the house got a chance to stand up. I think Kelly went into that room (pointing at the sketch.)” 

Madlala says there was a commotion at this stage. 

He says when he got up, he then saw a second guy who was tall. This is the man whose hand Meyiwa grabbed and pressed against the wall. 

“My intention was to get out of the house and when I got there, I hit the guy with a fist here (pointing to the left side of his face.) While I was there and Senzo held this guy against the wall, a shot went off. The one that came in first was being assaulted by Zandi, MaKhumalo, and Kelly because I think Kelly had my crutches.” 

Once cross-examination commences Madlala, apart from the five different statements he has made, he will be asked to explain who exactly pulled the trigger. 

He has so far only told the court about a gun that was held by the first intruder who at about the time of the gunshot was being assaulted by Kelly, Zandi, and Gladness Khumalo with his crutch. About that time, Meyiwa had pressed the taller and the second to show up of the two intruders against the wall.  

Madlala has told the court he’s not certain as to whether the second intruder had a gun with him.