The defence for accused 1 to 4 in the Senzo Meyiwa trial says it is intending to bring a review application of the Senzo Meyiwa trial with the intention of putting a stop to the trial.
Speaking to the SABC News on Friday morning, Timothy Thobane criticised the current trial and described it as unconstitutional.
According to Thobane, the people who were in the house when the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was shot and killed on 26 October 2014, are testifying with an implicit order from the state to testify to save their face or face charges as per the controversial second docket in the matter.
“The state during the bail application (for accused 2) told the bail court that the investigation in this matter is still outstanding, whereas the matter is on trial,” says Thobane.
Almost five years after the incident took place, a new docket CAS Vosloorus 375/1/2019 was opened citing the people who were in the house at the time of the shooting as possible suspects.
The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has yet to decide on how to proceed on that while the trial involving the five accused for the same crime is underway in Pretoria.
On Thursday, Advocate Zandile Mshololo read a letter in which the NPA states that the decision on the second docket will be taken based on the “credibility findings of the current trial”.
This she said put the witnesses who were in the house in a difficult position knowing that the acquittal of the five accused could mean the charging of those in the house, accusing Tumelo Madlala of testifying to protect himself.
“Another point is that these witnesses of the state, who were in the house, are being protected by the state itself. They are saying to them if you testify in a wrong way we are going to charge you, depending on the credibility finding of this court. If the court says you were not credible then we are going to charge you,” explains Thobane.
“They are indirectly saying to these witnesses go and lie in the box to save your face. That’s an unfair trial. That’s unconstitutional. It interferes with the fairness of the trial. They are making the court a bargaining place. They are saying to the witnesses go and lie to save your face. If you don’t lie to have the court believe your lies, we are going to charge you. But if the court believes your lies and we succeed then we are not going to charge you.”
Thobane has not said when exactly they are planning to bring this application.
The trial resumed on Friday morning at the North Gauteng High Court with state advocate, George Baloyi continuing with his re-examination of the third state witness, Tumelo Madlala.
There have been constant objections from the defense during Baloyi’s re-examination, with the defense arguing that the witness is bringing new evidence which was not part of the evidence-in-chief.
The murder trial of the five men accused of killing soccer star Senzo Meyiwa continues: