More question marks emerge during Tumelo Madlala’s re-examination in the Senzo Meyiwa trial

more question marks emerge during tumelo madlalas re examination in the senzo meyiwa trial

More question marks have come up around state witness Tumelo Madlala’s testimony on Friday morning. This after Madlala told the court during the re-examination that the description that he gave after the shooting incident was that of the alleged first intruder who was short, had a hat on, had dreadlocks and wore a caramel-coloured jacket. 

This is despite earlier telling the court that he had not directly looked at the alleged intruder because he had a gun and had not given the description of the alleged second intruder, who he says is accused 2 and whom he pointed out in court.

Despite telling the court he was certain the second intruder was the man Senzo Meyiwa had pressed against the wall in the kitchen in Kelly Khumalo’s house in Vosloorus, and that he would never forget his face, he never gave that description to the police. 

Thobane during cross-examination read a statement of one of the police officers who had taken statements from the people who were in the house and had witnessed 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 suspects 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.  

“I put it to you, you pointing out accused 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. 

Under re-examination, Madlala denied he has ever seen accused 2 in the media. 

“I have never seen him in the media. I only saw him in the house.” 

Madlala again raised questions when he told the court on Friday that the alleged second intruder, who he said wore a top with a hoodie, had the hood of inside the house without ever saying he had seen him outside before or after the shooting.

According to Madlala’s evidence-in-chief, the first time he ever saw the first intruder was when he entered the house with a gun and demanded cellphones and money.

He told the court Longwe Twala who was also in the house stood up and push the armed intruder as he (Longwe) ran out of the house. Madlala says it was at this point that they saw the second intruder standing by the kitchen door. Only today, Madlala mentioned that the second intruder had his hoodie off his head when he was in the house, without saying if he’d ever seen him outside.

Under cross-examination, Madlala told the court that the picture that was taken by the police at the crime scene depicting two empty cans was not a true reflection of the amount of alcohol they had consumed on the day – a point the defense used to argue that the crime scene had been tampered with before the police could arrive. 

State advocate George Baloyi sought to get clarity from Madlala as to whether the empty cans were removed from where they were drinking as they were drinking.

However, Madlala would not comment on that saying, “I don’t want to lie, we were drinking and they kept taking the beers from the fridge. As to what happened with the cans, I cannot tell because we were taking Senzo to the hospital.” 

Muzi Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonnke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli are charged with Meyiwa’s murder, attempted murder of other witnesses, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition. 

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Baloyi concluded his re-examination around noon and the court took an early adjournment.

The trial will continue on Monday with the state bringing its fourth witness, another person who was in the house when the shooting happened.

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