If the defence lawyer alleges that Senzo Meyiwa’s killer was one of the eight people who were in Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s house the night he was murdered, it begs the question: Which of them is the murderer?
The murder trial in the Pretoria High Court of five men accused of killing the former Bafana Bafana captain seems to be reinforcing the mysterious circumstances surrounding the identity of the person who pulled the trigger that night in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, in October 2014.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela was offered a dramatic proposition by defence Advocate Malesela Teffo that the state had in fact incarcerated the wrong suspects, while the real killer was still walking free nearly eight years after Meyiwa’s death.
This surfaced during the cross-examination of the first state witness and police forensic expert Thabo Mosia, who was grilled about whether he had followed the correct procedure when gathering evidence at the crime scene.
Mosia, who has worked at the SA Police Service’s forensics wing in Springs for 14 years, had initially declared that the crime scene was riddled with bullets and blood when he arrived.
READ: Senzo Meyiwa trial | Evidence in Meyiwa case was tampered with alleges defence advocate
He maintained throughout his testimony that he had taken swabs and samples of bullet fragments, as well as of alcohol bottles, at the scene.
“I was responsible for collecting, packaging and processing all the exhibits from the crime scene and taking them to the forensic science laboratory for investigation.
However, during the later stages of Mosia’s cross-examination, he was reminded of an affidavit he had deposed that contravened his evidence by suggesting that the scene might have been tampered with prior to his arrival four hours after the incident.
Teffo, representing four of the five accused men, made the affidavit his point of contention and told the court that investigators of a docket that was opened in 2019 – five years after Meyiwa’s death – had identified different suspects from the ones who were in the dock.
Teffo claimed that the office of the national director of public prosecutions intended to proceed with the indictment of Longwe Twala, Kelly Khumalo, Gladness Khumalo, Zandi Khumalo, Tumelo Madlala, Mthokozisi Twala and Maggie Phiri.
He added that his witness would testify that, once the crime scene had been staged, Meyiwa’s body had been placed in his BMW X6 and Kelly Khumalo had driven that vehicle to the nearby Botshelong Private Hospital under the pretence of trying to save Meyiwa’s life.
“The conduct of these people in this house, particularly the driver of Meyiwa’s car … amounted to defeating the ends of justice and concealing [his] death,” said Teffo.
READ: Advocate Malesela Teffo tells court: ‘A witness will implicate Kelly Khumalo in Senzo Meyiwa’s murder’
He also said that the defence team would call a witness to give evidence that Meyiwa had been shot with a revolver and not a 9mm Parabellum, causing him to die at the scene – contrary to Mosia’s testimony.
“I put it to you that … an eyewitness will testify that Senzo Robert Meyiwa was shot by Nonhlanhla Kelly Khumalo by mistake,” Teffo told Mosia. “The same eyewitness will further testify that the firearm used to shoot Meyiwa came with Longwe Twala – and that firearm was a revolver.”
“The same eyewitness will testify that all these efforts of taking the body from the scene … to the hospital were about the furtherance of concealment of the murder of Meyiwa, by dumping him at [the hospital].”
Mosia said he could not comment on Teffo’s assertions or on the eyewitness the defence advocate said he would call.
The trial continues tomorrow.