Three of the suspects in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at the Pretoria High Court on Thursday.
OJ Koloti/Gallo Images
Senzo Meyiwa’s close friend and state witness Mthokozisi Thwala was on Thursday allowed to clarify certain “inaccuracies” that crept up between his evidence in chief, led by state prosecutor George Baloyi, and police statements he had deposed following the fatal shooting of the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates skipper nine years ago.
At the end of Thwala’s testimony at the Pretoria High Court, Bolayi enabled Thwala to iron out the contradictions which appeared in the police statement and his testimony in court.
However, the defence counsels of the five men accused of Meyiwa’s murder vigorously opposed the preposition, citing that it was tantamount to the state cross-examining its own witness, which limited the parameters of the defence.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela overruled the objection, citing that the defence counsels had not shown that Thwala’s clarification of the contradiction would pose a disadvantage at the time of their cross-examination.
This section was brought into the equation so that all other issues that have to do with the content of the statements made as opposed to evidence that appears in court could be put in perspective… It’s for the court that what is written represents what is said by the witness.
Thwala subsequently corrected portions in the statements when he said police mixed up the suspects’ clothing.
He said he could not remember if all the statements he had deposed were read back to him by police.
He mentioned the first statement was deposed at the Vosloorus Police Station on October 27 2014, a day after Meyiwa’s killing.
He further confirmed to Baloyi that he had a glance at the first statement and read it, but he could not remember if he did the same with the statements that followed.
“From the statements that are made over a period of nine years, there is a statement that I once read,” he said.
At the time of adjournment, Thwala was undergoing his first cross-examination by the lawyer for accused number one and two, Sipho Ramosepele, who sought to confirm whether Thwala had consumed alcohol before they visted singer Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s house in Vosloorus.
Thwala said he was not consuming alcohol on the day he spent with Meyiwa, including during Khumalo’s performance in Soweto where Meyiwa had taken him.
He also confirmed that he did not identify a suspect when he was taken to the Jeppe Police Station.
“We were all put in a room and we were shown suspects. I did not point [out] any. After that, I was taken home,” he said.
The trial tomorrow.