Friday, 13 May 2022 19:00

A key state witness in the Senzo Meyiwa trial has passed away.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Gauteng's former head of detectives Brigadier Philani Ndlovu, mentioned in the evidence of the state witness in the Senzo Meyiwa trial, has died.

He passed away on Wednesday.

This has been confirmed by the office of the Gauteng police commissioner.

Ndlovu was a key state witness in the trial.

He is believed to have been one of the first officers to arrive on the scene in Vosloorus where the football star was shot dead.

The defence lawyer Malesela Teffo alleged that Ndlovu was given rights to the house resulting from a meeting that happened in the house among senior provincial officials.

Teffo told the court that the crime scene was contaminated and staged as a result of a meeting that was had with senior officials at the house.

Two of the legal counsels in the Meyiwa trial on Tuesday, meanwhile rejected a plea by advocate Teffo to resume trial earlier than scheduled.

Teffo, who is representing four of the accused, has written to the presiding judge in the matter, requesting that trial get under way next week instead of 30 May as previously agreed.

In the letter, he cited a number of reasons for his request including his dramatic arrest inside the Pretoria High Court that he insists was unlawful and politically motivated.

Five men are currently standing trial for the 2014 murder of Bafana Bafana captain.

They have all pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition, all relating to Meyiwa's murder. 

In a lengthy letter penned by Teffo, he requests that trial resumes on the 18 May, saying his witnesses were receiving serious threats by police.

He said he wrote a letter to the National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola to intervene, but he never acknowledged receipt.

In the same letter, Teffo accuses Masemola, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela of meeting and orchestrating his Hollywood-style arrest last month.

Both State advocate George Baloyi and lawyer for accused number five, Zandile Mshololo say they had ongoing matters that would run until 27 May and would not be able to attend to this case before then.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has refused to be drawn into commenting on the death of Brigadier Ndlovu.