Crime & Courts

“I Was Tortured To Admit I Killed Senzo Meyiwa”

Controversial Docket CAS 375/1/2019, which was opened five years after the murder of former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, has been thrust into the spotlight once again. State witness Mthokozisi Thwala has told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that the docket may contain statements that were obtained through torture of those who gave them.

“I Was Tortured To Admit I Killed Senzo Meyiwa”
“I Was Tortured To Admit I Killed Senzo Meyiwa”

Thwala claims that he was suddenly picked up by two police officers at his Umlazi home in Durban under the pretext that he was going to attend an identification parade in January 2019, the same month the docket was opened. He alleges that he was taken to the office of the investigating officer of the second docket, Lieutenant-Colonel Joyce Buthelezi in Pretoria where he was tortured throughout the night.

According to Thwala, he was driven all the way to Gauteng where he was asked, “why did you kill Senzo?” Thwala was allegedly tortured until he admitted to killing Meyiwa on the night of October 26, 2014. He claims he was also asked to make a statement saying that he was not in the house the night Meyiwa was shot. In his evidence in court, Thwala says he was in the house when the shot was fired, and after that, he ran out of the house and jumped over the gates of the house next door before jumping back into Kelly’s home to find Meyiwa lying with a bullet wound to the chest.

It is the state’s case that two intruders allegedly stormed into Kelly Khumalo’s mother, Gladness’ house in Vosloorus where Meyiwa, Madlala, Gladness, Kelly, Zandi Khumalo, Longwe Twala, and Mthokozisi Thwala were sitting in the lounge watching TV. The alleged first intruder, who was short, had a hat on, had dreadlocks, and was armed with a gun, demanded cellphones and money moments before he was pushed over by Longwe Twala as he ran out of the house. A commotion ensued in the house in the presence of the second alleged intruder, before a shot that killed Meyiwa went off.

In 2020, Muzi Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonnke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli were charged with Meyiwa’s murder, attempted murder of other witnesses, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case has caused public outrage, with many calling for the police to be held accountable for the alleged torture of witnesses. The credibility of the evidence in the docket has also been called into question, with the possibility that statements were obtained through torture.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will continue to hear evidence in the case, with Thwala’s testimony raising concerns about the conduct of the police and the integrity of the docket. The case has gained national attention, with many hoping for justice to be served in the murder of Senzo Meyiwa.

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