Accused in Senzo Meyiwa trial appoints new legal team

Accused 3 in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Mthobisi Mncube, on Monday replaced attorney Tshepo Thobane’s services and appointed new legal representatives.

Mncube appeared at the Pretoria high court on Monday for his new legal representative to come on record.

He appointed advocates identified as Mnisi and Mafafu to represent him in the murder trial.

The turn in events comes after the murder trial was postponed late last year to May 2023 after two of the five accused changed their legal representatives.

The National Prosecuting Authority said the state would make available copies of the dockets and transcripts to ensure they are ready for trial when the matter resumes on May 2 2023.

Meyiwa was gunned down in October 2014 in what was described as a botched robbery in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, in the presence of his then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, her mother Ntombi, sister Zandi, Zandi’s boyfriend Longwe Twala and Senzo’s friends Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are standing trial for the murder of the footballer.

They have been charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition. All have pleaded not guilty.

In his version, as placed into the record by former legal representative Thobane, Mncube said when he was arrested in July 2020, he was in custody for another matter. This is where Mncube said he was approached by an investigating officer who asked to take his fingerprints and took his pictures.

Thobane said Mncube was then shown a picture of Meyiwa and told he was going to be charged with his murder. Mncube was at the Johannesburg Prison at the time.

According to Thobane, an identity parade was not done when they charged him.

“They took photographs of him, took off his clothes and checked tattoos on his body. The head of prison was not present, and it was at about 4am. They took his DNA [at the] end of June or early July. They did not tell him why they are doing all of this.”

Thobane further submitted that Mncube did not have short dreadlocks at the time of the shooting.

Madlala has told the court he remembered that the first intruder was short and had short dreadlocks.

Mncube also told the court he was being assaulted and tortured at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison.

Sibiya and Ntanzi were the first to retain a new defence lawyer last year, terminating Thobane’s services and appointing advocate Sipho Ramosepele.

Thobane, who was representing four of the five accused after the exit of controversial lawyer Malesela Teffo in July, will now only be representing Maphisa.


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