Senzo Meyiwa’s friend tells court he will not change his statement until he dies

Senzo Meyiwa’s friend tells court he will not change his statement until he dies

Senzo Meyiwa’s friend tells court he will not change his statement until he dies

State witness Tumelo Madlala, the slain footballer’s best friend, told the court that top cop Colonel Joyce Buthelezi who was also handling the Senzo Meyiwa case, made numerous efforts to try to make him change his statement and implicate people who were in the house when the soccer star was killed.

Madlala was testifying on Monday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

He testified that Buthelezi approached him in 2019 and convinced him to be placed into witness protection.

According to him, he said he believed Buthelezi had an agenda to fulfil.

“I don’t know. Perhaps there could have been an agenda she was pushing. I really took her (Buthelezi) as a mother, but that changed after a lot of the things she had done.“

Madlala said that as part of the alleged plan to coerce him into a confession, Buthelezi offered to take him to Meyiwa’s grave.

“I told her that I hadn’t said a proper goodbye to Senzo, and then she took me to his grave, hoping that I will say something different from what I’ve been explaining.

“This whole thing confuses me because in that house, there’s no other person who was my friend there. So, I don’t understand why there is an impression that I would be protecting someone in that house.

“…I will not change my statement until the day I die. Two intruders came into the house and that’s how my statement will always stay,” he said.

Earlier, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng reprimanded Madlala after five men accused of killing the former Bafana Bafana captain said Madlala referred to them as “dogs” during a short adjournment.

Advocate Charles Mnisi, who represents accused number three, Mthobisi Mncube, told the judge that his client was not happy regarding what Madlala said during the adjournment.

“My lord, I would prefer that you hear those utterances from the accused so that I don’t misinterpret what was said,” Mnisi explained.

Mokgoatlheng insisted that Mnisi tell the court what his client told him.

“This witness pointed at the accused and made utterances and said “aziboshwe izinja”, they all have confirmed this,” said Mnisi.

“Aziboshwe izinja’’ loosely translates to ‘’Dogs should be arrested”.

Mokgoatlheng reprimanded Madlala and told him to show respect.

He said: “Mr Madlala, let’s keep the proceedings decent and show respect. I know emotions may flare up, but we are adults. Let’s control the emotions.”

Meyiwa was killed on October 26, 2014, while in the company of his singer girlfriend and the mother of his child, Kelly Khumalo.

In the house that day were Meyiwa, Kelly Khumalo, her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Madlala, Kelly’s then 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Ntuli are on trial for the murder.

The defence will cross-examine Madlala on Tuesday.

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