The resumption of the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial got off to a bumpy start on Monday morning. This when State Advocate George Baloyi raised an application by Kelly Khumalo’s lawyer, Advocate Magdalene Moonsamy, who has written a letter to the court requesting access to case dockets, court transcripts and other related documents.
However, there were issues with the application as the judge indicated that he had not read the letter which he was not sure had been received by the other counsels.
Attorney TT Thobane, for accused 1 to 4, confirmed to have received the letter, but Advocate Zandile Mshololo told the court she had no knowledge of such a letter.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela called for a brief adjournment of proceedings for him to go through the letter while Mshololo is also afforded the opportunity to go through it.
Live proceedings from the court:
Moonsamy is on watching brief for Kelly Khumalo, who was one of the people who were in the house on the night the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was murdered in October 2014 and a girlfriend to the deceased at the time.
A watching brief is an observer role that is normally used in criminal cases by lawyers on behalf of clients who are not directly involved in court proceedings to protect the rights and interest of their clients who may eventually have to be called in as witnesses.
Khumalo who was in the house when Meyiwa was shot and killed and had taken part in transporting Meyiwa to the Botshelong Hospital in Vosloorus where he was declared dead on arrival, has not been confirmed as a witness.
Moonsamy, who was physically in court in the early stages of the trial, was asked to leave at the time because her client could at a later stage be called in to testify. She argued at the time that it made no difference whether she was in court since the court proceedings were broadcast live, making them “public knowledge anyway”.
However, Judge Maumela was quick to point out that the live broadcast could not be equated to a watching brief which meant she would have access to exclusive court papers, which she is now applying for access to.
Moonsamy earlier in the trial told SABC News that her presence in court didn’t imply an expectation on their side that Khumalo would at some stage be charged.
Before the trial was postponed two months ago, Meyiwa’s childhood friend, Tumelo Madlala had taken the stand and had just come to the end of his cross-examination by TT Thobana.
Madlala had told the court that he was in the sitting room when a man who was short, had short dreadlocks, had a scotch hat on and had worn a brown or caramel jacket, barged into the house carrying a gun and demanded cellphones and money.
According to Madlala, Longwe Twala, Zandi Khumalo’s boyfriend at the time, rose and pushed the man on his way out, while Kelly Khumalo ran into one of the bedrooms.
He said there was then a second man who was tall and slender who was then attacked by Meyiwa, pressing the man against the wall while Kelly, Zandi and the owner of the house, Gladness Khumalo assaulted the other assailant with his crutches.
Madlala told the court he had stood up and punched the intruder who was held against the wall by Meyiwa before a shot went off. He said it was at that time that he had run into one of the bedrooms and when he came out of the bedroom, he had found Meyiwa lying on the floor with a bullet wound on his chest.
Bongani Ntanzi, spotting a blue T-shirt, smiled and seemed unbothered when he was pointed out as one of the intruders.
Madlala is expected to continue under cross-examination after the matter raised by Moonsamy is dealt with.
Madlala told the court about how Khumalo had refused to open for the police when they were at a complex in Mulbarton where Kelly stayed with Meyiwa. According to Madlala, they had just arrived at the house in Mulbarton in the wee house of 27 October 2014 when the police arrived.
Madlala said when they police requested access via the security at the gate, Kelly refused and when she noticed the police peeping through the window, she asked that they switch off the electricity, while she made a call.
“Since she had refused, I don’t know how the police ended up gaining access. I think Kelly saw the police as they were trying to peep through the window because Kelly instructed that the electricity should be switched. After the electricity was switched off, I don’t know who Kelly called because I think a certain order came through and the police left the premises. Then the electricity was switched on again.”