Failure to point out facial features of the second intruder in Meyiwa case under spotlight

failure to point out facial features of the second intruder in meyiwa case under spotlight

Timothy Thobane, for accused 1 – 4 in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, has questioned Senzo Meyiwa’s childhood friend, Tumelo Madlala on why he had failed to describe the facial features of accused No.: 2 Bongani Ntanzi the first time they were asked when the identikits were compiled.  

On Monday, Thobane, who had concluded his cross-examination when the court took a lengthy adjournment two months ago, applied to re-open his cross-examination which was granted.  

Spotting a clean-shaven head and a trimmed beard, in a white t-shirt and military green jacket which at some point he took off, Madlala stuck to his guns that he was not confused about the man he had pointed out in court as the man who had entered the house the night former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa was murdered 

Thobane, taking Madlala through the facial image analysis report, has sought to find out why it took Madlala time to describe accused No.: 2.  

Madlala has previously told the court that he had attended an identity parade but had not pointed any one as one of the accused that had entered the house and demanded money and cellphones before a scuffle ensued leading to Meyiwa’s shooting. 

State advocate, George Baloyi, intervened pointing out, “My lord, he said he attended the identity parade, but he could not identify anyone because there was no one he could recognise.” 

 Thobane: “Maybe I should put it in a different way. You could not identify anyone in the identity parade, correct?” 

Madlala: “That’s correct.” 

Thobane read a statement of one of the police officers who had taken statements from the people who were in the house and had witnesses the commission of the crime. 

“The third person I interviewed was Tumelo Madlala who was traumatised. He saw the scuffle between the suspect and the deceased and after he heard the gunshots, he ran off to one of the rooms. He gave a similar description of suspect A … He could not compile the second suspect (sic). You see that?,” asked Thobane, to which Madlala answered, “Yes.” 

“You could not compile the second suspect, and even the first suspect, actually, you didn’t compile; you only confirmed what other people said. Do you agree with that?” 

“I don’t recall saying that,” said Madlala.  

Thobane: “I put it to you, you, pointing out accused No.: 2 during court proceedings, you only did that because you saw him in the media. Here it is, very clear (that) you could not compile the second suspect and according to you accused No.: 2 is the second suspect who was standing by the door. According to your version, which you want the court to believe,” said Thobane. 

But Madlala would not agree with this assertion insisting he was sure the person he had pointed out in court was in fact the person who had entered the house on the fateful evening. 

“I don’t know where you get that. Even now I can point him out again. He was there in the house. Even he knows. What you are saying I don’t know where you get that from,” responded Madlala.  

Thobane responded, “Sir, look at that paragraph, the last sentence. I am not going to answer any questions from you. I am going to put it to you the version of what is before the court, which must assist the court. You could not compile the second suspect. They are referring to you. You only managed to point out accused No.: 2 in court because you had been watching TV and the media.” 

Madlala stilll disagreed with this. 

“I do not agree with that. Fortunately, I am not a TV person, or the media. I don’t believe in those things. And what happened is that that day, even though I don’t remember, he was wearing a jacket that had a hood, this one (pointing at one of the accused) that day, he wore a jacket that had a hood. Even though I may not remember the colour, he was wearing a jacket that had a hood. I know what I am talking about.” 

Previously, without saying whether Ntanzi was the man who pulled the trigger, Madlala told the court that the 32-year-old, who worked at a mine in Rustenburg before his arrest, was the man whose hand Meyiwa grabbed as he pressed him against the wall in the kitchen.  

“And a person you have seen before, if you meet this person again it won’t be difficult to recognise that person. And I won’t tell lies about a person. Even that person knows,” said Madlala. 

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