Accused in Meyiwa case laugh as Khumalo testifies
Accused in Meyiwa case laugh as Khumalo testifies. The defendants in the murder trial could be seen laughing, grinning, and shaking their heads as singer Zandile Khumalo described in court how two trespassers broke into her family’s home and killed soccer player Senzo Meyiwa.
Khumalo testified yesterday before the high court in Pretoria, describing how trespassers entered her mother’s home in Vosloorus, on the East Rand, and demanded cellphones. Longwe Twala pushed one of the guys and fled, while Meyiwa engaged one of the men in physical combat.
She claimed that before a gunshot went off and its spark struck her in the foot, she attempted to strike one of the men with Tumelo Madlala’s crutches. She claimed that Khumalo testified that she fled to the bathroom to hide after hearing two additional gunshots. After the two shots were fired, she opened the door and saw only the passage and dining room—no one else.
Her testimony was preceded by a lot of drama and waiting after she requested that it not be broadcast live.
Khumalo addressed the defendants during her testimony, identifying defendant number two, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, as one of the two trespassers that entered the home on October 26, 2014. Without saying a word, Ntanzi raised his head and gave Khumalo a direct stare.
Khumalo claimed to have been seated in the dining room that evening along with her sister Kelly Khumalo, their mother Gladness, Meyiwa, Twala, and Meyiwa’s close friends Madlala and Mthokozisi Thwala.
“While we were sitting, Kelly stood up and cracked a joke… While we were listening to her speaking, two gentlemen entered the house, that one in particular [Ntanzi,” said Khumalo, sobbing and pointing at Ntanzi.
Mthokoziseni Maphisa, the fourth accused, was observed shaking his head and whispering to the fifth accused, Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli, as she sobbed and gasped loudly.
Then Khumalo yelled angrily at the five accused, “Are you guys aware of what you caused to our lives? Are you aware of the harm you have done to our family and what you have done to us individually?
But the judge intervened and advised her not to speak to the defendant directly.
Adv Sipho Ramosepele, who represents Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, the first accused, and Ntanzi, took issue with Khumalo’s outburst as well.
According to Khumalo, the burglars demanded cash and cellphones as soon as they entered the home.
She continued: “One of them had dreadlocks and was carrying a firearm. The second one was standing in the middle of the kitchen. The one with dreadlocks was carrying a firearm and pointed it towards us. He spoke in isiZulu… “While all of us were still shocked and not certain if what was happening was indeed taking place, I heard a click of a gun and Longwe stood up and pushed the intruder with dreadlocks…” she said.
“Longwe got a chance to go out through the kitchen door and Kelly ran into the bedroom opposite the kitchen. Accused number two [Ntanzi] followed her and Kelly closed the door behind her while he [Ntanzi] tried to push it open… We all then got up and went to the kitchen where we started fighting the intruders…”
She said during the scuffle, Meyiwa was wrestling with the dreadlocked intruder who was carrying a firearm.
“We were trying to get them out of the house… I saw Tumelo’s crutches on the floor in the passage and wanted to take the crutches and hit accused number two with them… I could not reach the crutches and Tumelo took them and hit him [Ntanzi] with them… Meanwhile, Senzo was still wrestling for the firearm with the man with dreadlocks,” said Khumalo.
Ntanzi burst into laughter and held his head in his hands as Khumalo testified.
Khumalo said she then heard a gunshot going off.
“The shot hit the ground and the spark from that hit me on my right leg… I did not see what caused the firearm to be discharged… During the scuffle, Kelly joined to help Senzo while he was fighting with the intruder. My mother was attacking accused number two with her hands. The firearm went off again. Tumelo ran into the bedroom and I ran into the bathroom.
“I knelt down on my knees in the bathroom to take cover. I heard another gunshot. All the shots came from the kitchen,” said Khumalo.
Ntanzi, Maphisa, and Ntuli again started laughing, this time drawing in the spectator gallery as Khumalo showed the court how she was crouching and sitting in the restroom to defend herself.
Charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm without a license, and possession of ammunition are brought against Sibiya, Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Maphisa, and Ntuli. To each charge, they have entered a not guilty plea.
Khumalo’s request to have her testimony not be broadcast live was already denied. However, the court mandated that no images of her be displayed prior to the conclusion of the trial.