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Tuesday, 06 February 2024 09:45

Accused number 1 in the Meyiwa trial can't remember much as State grills him.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Accused 1 in the trial within the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya had a difficult time recollecting some of the incidents that transpired on the day he was allegedly assaulted by police.

On Monday, 5 February, Sibiya took to the witness stand and told the court about events that happened during and after he was arrested.

Five men are on trial for the murder of Meyiwa who was shot at the home of his girlfriend and singer Kelly Khumalo on 26 October 2014. The men are Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli.

The men face charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravated circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence, and possession of ammunition. They have all pleaded not guilty.

On Tuesday, Sibiya was cross-examined on his testimony by State prosecutor, advocate Ronnie Sibanda.

Sibiya conceded that Col Mhlanganelwa Mbotho did ask him questions that he can't remember while writing down on a document, he said he doesn't remember being asked the questions in the document as read out by the state in court.

"I don't remember the questions posed to me by Mbotho. I don't remember, but the questions read by the state, I don't recall Mbotho asking me," he said.

He further said that as Mbotho interacted with him, he was writing on the document.

Sibiya told the court he never wrote a statement confessing to the murder of Meyiwa and did not know what was written in the statement handed to him by Mbotho to sign.

"I never wrote a statement. He only provided documents and said I must sign. When I signed, the document was completed," he said.

Sibanda asked: "Do you recall placing your signature on the document that was produced by Colonel Mbotho?"

Yes, "I remember," he said.

"Did you put your initials?" asked Sibanda.

"I said, I don't remember putting my initials," said Sibiya.

Sibanda further asked Sibiya why some details of his alleged assault were only heard during cross-examination and were never mentioned by his defence.

"Like I said, I knew that one day I will take the stand and speak for myself. Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu might not have said everything that I told him word for word, but I think he probably said it in a different way ... I can't speak for him or anyone, I’m here to speak for myself, "he replied.

Sibiya was adamant that he was severely assaulted, even though he was left with no bruises.

Sibanda asked how it was possible that he had no bruises from the alleged assault.

"I don't know their sizes, their kicks might have landed in my body in a way that it won’t leave bruises, but they were all kicking me on every part of my body and I was in great pain," he said.

A picture of Sibiya, wearing the same clothes he wore when he was allegedly assaulted, was shown in court and he was asked why he was clean if he had been kicked while on the floor, as he had claimed.

"That picture is not clear, those clothes were dirty, the camera is not showing everything," he replied.

The court previously heard Sibiya and co-accused Bongani Ntanzi had confessed to knowing the circumstances of Meyiwa's murder in Vosloorus in 2014. However, they alleged they were forced to do so after being beaten by police officers.

The court is hearing evidence on the admissibility of the confession statements they allegedly made.

Sibiya alleges that plastic-bag torture was used to force him to sign the pre-written confession, which was false as he knew nothing about the footballer's murder.

Meyiwa, who had fathered a child with Khumalo, was shot dead at Khumalo's mother's house in Vosloorus. Khumalo and other people present during the shooting claimed Meyiwa was killed in a robbery gone wrong. 

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Video Courtesy of ENCA.