State scores victory as high court admits confessions and pointing out statements of Meyiwa murder accused

The five accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA)

The five accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 14, 2024


The State has won a significant victory in its case against the five men accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa, with the admission of confession statements and pointing out statements made by the accused.

The bid by Muzikhawukulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, the first and second accused in the murder trial, to have confessions and a pointing out statement allegedly made by them made inadmissible has been thwarted.

The pair’s legal defence challenged the admission of the confessions as they alleged they were assaulted, tortured, and electrocuted by the investigating team into confessing to their role in the murder of the Orlando Pirates player on October 26, 2014.

Prior to giving his ruling, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng highlighted other cases on admissibility of confessions as he stressed it should not be argued that he did not consider the evidence regarding coercion.

Justice Mokgoatlheng said he had carefully analysed the evidence adduced by the State, the cross-examination by the defence against the evidence adduced by the State, as well as the rebuttal evidence of accused one and two, and cross-examination by the State.

He added that he had also analysed the heads of argument by all the parties as well as verbal submissions by all the counsel, including scrutinising the evidence relating to whether the confessions were made freely and voluntarily in the sound and sober senses of the deponents without any force or coercion.

After going through all of this, he said: “The confession made by accused one (Sibiya) was made freely and voluntarily without any coercion, when he was in his firm, sound and sober senses. He was also in his sober senses when he made the pointing out statement to Lieutenant-Colonel Nkosikhona Hadebe.

“Confessions made by the second accused (Ntanzi) to magistrate Vivian Conje were also made freely and voluntarily when he was in his sober senses, including the second confession made to Lieutenant-Colonel Solomon Raphadu.”

Sibiya, Ntanzi as well as their co-accused Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Ntuli were arrested for the murder of Meyiwa while at the Vosloorus home of his then girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo.

All five have pleaded not guilty.

The main trial will proceed tomorrow, with witnesses who were part of the trial-within-a-trial to provide context to the confessions that have now been accepted.