Senzo Meyiwa: Advocate Teffo inexplicably swaps between being defence lawyer and watching brief during trial

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State Prosecutor, Advocate George Baloyi, with defence lawyers, Adv Malesela Teffo, attorney TT Thobane and Zandile Mshololo discussing dates for postponements. Photo by Kgomotso Medupe Photo by
State Prosecutor, Advocate George Baloyi, with defence lawyers, Adv Malesela Teffo, attorney TT Thobane and Zandile Mshololo discussing dates for postponements. Photo by Kgomotso Medupe Photo by
  • Advocate Malesela Teffo continued his arguments against a postponement in the Senzo Meyiwa trial. 
  • He seemingly put forward submissions with regard to a watching brief he holds for Meyiwa's brother, despite being defence counsel for four of the accused. 
  • He also made allegations that the DPP's office was corrupt.

From unsubstantiated allegations, leading evidence from the bar, and seemingly interchanging between being a defence counsel and a watching brief, advocate Malesela Teffo continued his bid to prevent a postponement in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial. 

On Tuesday morning, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard that no consensus had been reached in terms of filing heads of arguments in relation to Teffo's challenge as to whether the court had the jurisdiction to hear the trial.

While the court waited to hear Teffo's arguments in relation to not agreeing to dates for the heads of argument and the pending postponement, he launched into an offensive on other issues he had.

Teffo represents four of the accused.

Letters

Earlier, Teffo canvassed issues around two letters, signed by the South Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), advocate Andrew Chauke, submitted to the court on Monday, which served as a confirmation for Exhibit C.

Exhibit C is an unsigned indictment and memorandum, which implicates Meyiwa's girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, and others in the murder of the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper.

The document is based on a second docket regarding the murder of Meyiwa. 

READ | Senzo Meyiwa: Teffo 'switches gear' claims case being heard in wrong court, challenges jurisdiction

The letter explained that the document was the internal opinion of a junior State prosecutor and had no merit. Furthermore, the letter said no decision was ever taken on the second docket. 

The first docket is the matter currently before court. 

Teffo claimed that one of the letters was fraudulent, alleging that it was not Chauke's signature. He said that, if need be, he would open a case of fraud.

Referring to the same letters, he said Chauke was being disingenuous as the prosecutor mentioned was, in fact, a senior. He also claimed the DPP's office was corrupt.

Watching brief switch 

In what can only be described as an arbitrary submission, Teffo pointed out that the letter was hampering the interests of his client, Sifiso Meyiwa. 

Sifiso is Meyiwa's brother - and Teffo held a watching brief for him before taking on the four accused as clients. 

Despite being the defence counsel for the accused in the trial, Teffo said he had received a new instruction from the Meyiwa family. 

Teffo later told the court that he wanted a nolle prosequi certificate in respect of the second docket, claiming that a decision had already been taken to not prosecute. 

The letter however, stated that no decision had been taken. 

Evidence from the bar 

At one point, the State prosecutor, advocate George Baloyi, raised an objection that Teffo was leading evidence from the bar and that it was not procedural.

He suggested that Teffo submit these issues by way of affidavit. 

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela agreed. 

Maumela said:

Earlier, I asked if are you are giving evidence, now you are giving names and details. For the life of me, I don't know what you are doing now and what you expect me to do with the information.

"You have given me a lot that isn't before me properly. I warned you in the beginning, you are giving evidence, for the past hour or so, yet you say you are in a hurry."

Teffo responded by accusing Maumela of being biased. 

Teffo eventually made his point - that he was objecting to the postponement requested by advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents the fifth accused. 

Mshololo had previously asked for a postponement after being given the second docket. She wanted to study the docket before continuing with the trial. 

READ | Senzo Meyiwa: Defence plans to apply for case to be discharged

Teffo also claimed, without substantiating, that Baloyi had no title to prosecute the matter.

He said an arrest warrant for Khumalo was prepared, but was held back and, instead, his clients were arrested.

He also had an issue with arrest warrants being authorised for two of his clients, who were already serving sentences in prison. 

As he was about to read out an affidavit by an investigating officer who he did not name, the State again objected, as did Mshololo, who asked that the applications be brought once she was done with the cross-examination of the State's first witness.

Maumela then asked Teffo for postponement dates. 

Teffo then brought up his claim that the DPP's office was corrupt - and also said Mshololo and Baloyi were not learned. 

At this stage, Teffo was stopped by his instructing attorney, TT Thobane, who asked the court if he could approach his clients. 

The criminal trial is expected to continue in September, while arguments regarding an application brought by Teffo will be argued in July.


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