The fragment of a bullet that allegedly was found at the house in Vosloorus where former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was shot has been examined once more.
On Friday, the trial for the murder of Meyiwa continued in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. At this point, the second witness for the state, Sergeant Patrick Mlungisi Mthethwa, was subjected to cross-examination. Mthethwa and his colleague, Sergeant Mathebula, were the first police officers to arrive at the scene where Meyiwa had been shot on October 26, 2014. This incident occurred on that same day. Meyiwa was shot and killed at the residence he shared with his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo.
Mthethwa was questioned by Advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents one of the five accused individuals, regarding whether or not he looked for evidence on the countertop in the kitchen. Mthethwa has testified in the past that when he initially responded to a complaint of a shooting in progress, he entered the house but then left for the hospital because there was no one there who could inform him of what had transpired.
During the speedy tour of the home, he found a crutch and a hat in the kitchen. The crutch was the only one in the house. During the second time he went to the house, he discovered a bullet fragment lying on the floor of the kitchen. Mthethwa stated that he had searched the countertop but was unable to locate anything there endorsed and suggested by the Sherif.
In the meantime, the first witness for the State was Sergeant Thabo Mosia, who was also the first forensic expert to arrive at the scene. Sergeant Mosia testified in the past that he discovered a bullet projectile behind some glass jars that were placed on the countertop.
Mosia testified that on his second visit to the scene, he and other investigators traced the trajectory of a bullet that went through the door and found the bullet projectile. Mosia said this happened on his second visit to the scene.
As a result of the fact that this projectile was not discovered during his initial visit to the crime scene, the defense began raising questions and making claims that it had been planted there. According to Mosia, the bullet projectile was concealed behind the glass jars, which is why the officer did not find it during his initial search of the crime scene.
Mthethwa testified under cross-examination on Friday that they did not rearrange any of the items in the room while they were searching for evidence. It would appear that this provides support for Mosia’s claim that the bullet projectile could only be seen after the glass jars were removed from the room.
In addition, the state prosecutor and advocate George Baloyi took great pains to ensure that Mthethwa indicated on a photograph taken at the crime scene which section of the countertop he inspected. Mthethwa indicated the location of an area that contained several pots. The photograph of the crime scene that was used to illustrate the pointing out did not include any glass jars.
SECURING OF THE SCENE
Mthethwa gave testimony earlier on Friday, stating that when the police officers arrived at the scene of the crime, they were greeted by a man who introduced himself as Themba. Themba claimed that he was Kelly’s mother Gladness Khumalo’s brother. Kelly’s mother is Khumalo. According to Mthethwa, Themba does not know a great deal about what took place, other than the fact that someone was shot and was subsequently rushed to the hospital.
Mthethwa reported that after a brief investigation of the home they went to the hospital, and it was only there that they determined that the home had been the location of a criminal act. After that, Mthethwa and Mathebula went back to the houses and set up a perimeter around the area. Mshololo brought up the fact that the police officers had left the scene of the crime without first ensuring that it was safe to do so.
Mthethwa argued that at the time, he was unaware that the location was a crime scene because Themba was unable to tell the police whether the shooting took place inside the house or outside in the yard.
Mshololo followed up by asking how they could have entrusted the crime scene to the care of a person whose identity had not even been confirmed at this point. She suggested to the witness that they ought to have taken the house keys from Themba and locked the door themselves instead of leaving it unlocked. Mthethwa admitted that he would not have known if Themba could have been the shooter, but he trusted that Themba was Gladness Khumalo’s brother simply because he had the house keys. Mthethwa believed that Themba was Gladness Khumalo’s brother because he had the house keys.
Then, Mshololo asserted that after Mthethwa and his colleague had left the scene for the first time, other people entered the house and cleaned it up after the incident. Sylvia Happy Ngobeni claimed to the police in her statement that she, Maggie Phiri, and two other women went into the house to see what had happened. Phiri is said to have then begun picking up empty beer cans after that.
Phiri allegedly told Ngobeni that in response to her question about why she was cleaning before the police arrived, she told Ngobeni that she did not want the police to see that people were drinking before they arrived. Mshololo gave the impression that this took place after Mthethwa had first fled the scene. This is due to the fact that Ngobeni states that after leaving the house, she saw a contingent of police officers arrive at the house, who then proceeded to cordon off the scene.
Mthethwa, on the other hand, stated in his testimony that the beer cans that he observed during his initial visit to the house were still there when he returned later.
In a previous article, News24 reported that a number of discrepancies were discovered between the statements made by Mthethwa and Mosia. These inconsistencies included who led Mosia through the crime scene and at what time Mosia arrived at the house. Also included was the crime scene itself. An affidavit provided by a former head of detectives in Gauteng, Brigadier Philani Ndlovu, was another factor that contributed to the worsening of these disparities. Additionally, certain aspects of Mosia’s and Mthethwa’s testimonies were refuted by his affidavit.
On Monday, it is anticipated that the trial will continue.