“The defence witnesses for four suspects in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case are receiving serious threats to their lives, from the police.”
This was according to Advocate Malesela Teffo, representing four of the five murder-accused in the trial.
Teffo said this in a letter to the North Gauteng High Court when requesting for the trial to resume sooner than scheduled.
He also mentioned that he had written to National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola, asking him to intervene, but he never responded or acknowledged receipt.
“The date 30 May was not suggested by the defence of accused one to four. The current volatile situation against the defence was never foreseen. We value the safety and security of our witnesses the same was as the state is protecting theirs,” he stated.
He requested presiding Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela to urgently move the trial forward. He said this would be in the best interest of justice, the accused and family of the deceased. He suggested 18 May, as agreed in court before his dramatic arrest on 28 April.
A meeting would be held on Tuesday, 17 May, between the defence, state prosecutor and judge, with the deputy judge president, following Teffo’s request.
Advocate Zandile Mshololo, representing the fifth accused, would not be present.
Meanwhile, the same court was expected to deliver a sentencing on the man convicted of murdering Matwetwe actor Sibusiso Khwinana.
Khwinana was stabbed to death in a robbery outside Sterland Mall in Arcadia, Tshwane, in 2019.
In February, the court found Julius Lucas guilty of the murder, as well as of robbery with aggravating circumstances and contravening the Immigration Act, after it was revealed that he was in the country unlawfully.
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