PRETORIA – THE spotlight was once again thrown on the police’s failure to safeguard the crime scene of the Vosloorus home where soccer star Senzo Meyiwa was gunned down as Sergeant Timothy Mathebula took to the stand at the North Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria, on Wednesday.
Aug. 18, 2023
4 min read
Police slammed over unsecured Senzo Meyiwa crime scene
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng
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On Tuesday, the 12th state witness, Sergeant Patrick Mthethwa, came under fire during cross-examination from defence lawyer Advocate Zandile Mshololo for not securing the crime scene from tampering by cordoning it off before rushing to Botshelong Hospital where the Bafana Bafana captain and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was being treated.
He further admitted that none of the officers were wearing protective gear when they initially inspected the scene.
In his testimony, Mathebula recounted how he, along with two other student constables, responded to a call at 8.53pm of a shooting in progress at the Vosloorus home of the mother of Meyiwa’s then-girlfriend and singer, Kelly Khumalo on October 26, 2014.
During State Advocate George Baloyi’s cross-examination, the police sergeant revealed that they found Kelly’s police officer uncle, Themba Khumalo, at MaKhumalo’s house when they arrived at the scene of the alleged botched robbery.
Baloyi told the court that the state will call Kelly’s uncle to testify in court.
When Themba allowed them into the house through the kitchen door, they observed cans of alcohol strewn on the floor, a hat, and crutches near the kitchen sink.
“We asked what happened, and he [Themba] said the people with information had gone to the hospital… they all left. What he knows, is that Senzo Meyiwa was shot,” Mathebula testified.
During their initial short search, they, however found no evidence of blood or any cartridges and therefore did not cordon off the crime scene.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng also criticised the police officers for failing to follow through after they arrived at the residence and were told the alleged intruders had fled in the direction of a nearby park.
“I want to say to you my view is if you were conscientious enough to get out of the vehicle, you could have went into the heart of the park to see the dimensions and the possible escape routes and even called for backup, because that’s also a crime scene. Is that not so?”
Mathebula testified that they found Kelly in Meyiwa’s BMW X6 in the hospital’s parking lot on their way to the casualty ward where they were shown the body of Meyiwa with a gunshot wound to the chest.
“I then clicked that it was a crime scene at the Vosloorus house,” said Mathebula.
“I called a constable to come to the hospital so we could rush back to the house with Kelly’s mother, Ntombi MaKhumalo.”
Mathebula said that Themba was still at the house upon their return.
Mathebula told the court that MaKhumalo led them to an area near the kitchen when they asked her to demonstrate what had happened.
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“We checked around the house for cartridges, and found a bullet projectile near a hat. We also found blood stains in the dining room next to the couch,” he said.
Advocate Mshololo asked Mathebula to clarify whether MaKhumalo pointed to the hat or picked it up.
The police officer replied that she had touched it.
Mshololo continued her cross-examination by asking him why he did not mention this in his statement or to the other officers who took over from him and Mthethwa.
Mathebula said he didn’t think it was important.
In April 2022, former defence counsel and disbarred Advocate Malesela Teffo told the court that the hat found at the crime scene contained the DNA of a female and not that of a male.
The five accused in the Meyiwa murder trial – Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Ncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli – are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
They have all pleaded not guilty when the murder trial rebooted on 17 July when Mokgoatlheng took over from Tshifhiwa Maumela as presiding judge.
More than a dozen witnesses, including Kelly’s singer-songwriter sister Zandile Khumalo-Gumede, have testified since the trial started from scratch. – The Citizen
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