The Pretoria High Court on Monday heard how some State witnesses had been placed under protection in preparation for the Senzo Meyiwa trial.
On Monday, lawyers for one of the defendants accused the state of suppressing important witness statements until the last possible moment.
The trial, which was scheduled to begin on Monday, was adjourned till Tuesday morning to give the defence attorneys time to meet with the accused. However, advocate Zandile Mshololo, who is representing accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli, told the court that she was not ready to proceed and felt ambushed by the State which had given them certain statements two weeks before the trial.
Nearly eight years ago, the former Bafana Bafana captain was assassinated at the home of his girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo.
Sifisokuhle Ntuli’s counsel, Advocate Zandile Mshololo, told the court on Monday that the State had violated his constitutional right to a fair trial by disclosing key documents barely two weeks before the case commenced.
“In another way, accused number five has been ambushed by the conduct of the State to reveal such crucial statements at the eleventh hour of the trial,” Mshololo said.
Advocate George Baloyi, a state lawyer, argued that it was necessary: “The reason we didn’t release the statements previously was because people who were going to testify needed to be placed under witness protection.”
On Tuesday morning, when the trial finally begins, it is still unclear who the State’s first witness will be.
Senzo Robert Meyiwa was a South African professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper and captain for both Orlando Pirates in the Premier Soccer League, and the South Africa national team. He was shot and killed in a robbery on October 26, 2014.
Meyiwa is known by saving penalties in the Champions League 2013 against TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi, DRC when he saved two awarded penalties against Pirates which were both taken by then TP Mazembe captain Tresor Mputu and Pirates’ then captain Lucky Lekgwathi was red carded in that match that which Pirates lost by 1-0 but Pirates won there by aggregate of 3–2.
Meyiwa also saved another penalty in group stage match against Al Ahly in Cairo, Egypt, that which was taken by Mohamed Aboutrika and Pirates won by 3–0, and Meyiwa also helped Pirates to go to the final against Al Ahly where Pirates were runners-up in the Final.
Meyiwa was backed up by Brighton Mhlongo until his final kick of his game life in his final game against Ajax Cape Town F.C. in 2014 Telkom Knockout Quarter-final victory of 4–1 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday 25 October 2014, before his death on 26 October 2014 Sunday.
He was made captain of Orlando Pirates by coach Vladimir Vermezovic in his last four games for Pirates before his death after then club captain Lucky Lekgwathi was not playing and he was also made captain of Bafana Bafana by coach Shakes Mashaba in his last four games of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.
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