Defence counsel for Meyiwa murder accused fears for safety

Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu

Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu

Published Apr 24, 2024


DEFENCE counsel for the first murder accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, has told the court that he feared for his safety.

Mngomezulu, counsel for Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, one of five men on trial for the October 2014 murder of the Orlando Pirates player, told presiding Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng that fears for his safety came as a result of two individuals who trespassed at his residence.

Judge Mokgoatlheng said in court: “There is a disturbing message I received from Mr Mngomezulu which he suspects arises from the fact that he is a counsel in this matter.

“It appears there are people who visited his home in the morning. Fortunately, when they wanted to enter the premises of Mr Mngomezulu, the dogs barked.”

According to the judge, Mngomezulu stated that the two people were unknown to him. The attorney believed the trespassing was connected to the trial.

“He suspects they were out to harm, injure or kill him because this is what happens in South Africa. Mr Mngomezulu, maybe you should lay a charge with the police so that it is realised that you are being assailed when you are performing your job as an officer of this court.”

Judge Mokgoatlheng indicated that Mngomezulu was entitled to police protection.

The defence counsel also raised concerns about comments made during an interview with producer and musician Chicco Twala on Kaya FM in which they were discussing the evidence of Sifiso Meyiwa.

Mngomezulu said Twala made negative comments about his competency and why he was being drawn into all of this.

While the judge said he could not intervene in that matter, the counsel insisted on placing the comments on record.

In recent days, songstress Kelly Khumalo’s name has once again made news headlines during the cross-examination of State witnesses, including that of investigating officer Sergeant Batho Mogola.

During cross-examination by advocate Zandile Mshololo, Mogola admitted that even though investigations had revealed that Nonhlanhla Kelly Khumalo was the alleged “mastermind” behind the killing, she did not know why Khumalo’s warrant of arrest had not been authorised.

When asked by Mshololo whether she was aware of the draft application regarding the warrant of arrest for Khumalo, Mogola responded: “Yes, I am aware because I was briefed by Brigadier Gininda.”

She maintained she did not know why the warrant had not been authorised.

The trial continues.

The Star

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