Senzo Meyiwa-Image Source@InstagramSenzo Meyiwa-Image Source@Instagram

The murder trial of Senzo Meyiwa faced yet another postponement following a heated exchange between the defence and prosecution over the accuracy of cell tower coverage maps presented by a Vodacom expert.

Contentious Maps Lead to Adjournment

The trial, held at the Pretoria High Court, was adjourned after Charles Mnisi, the defence lawyer for the third accused, argued that the maps used by the state during Vodacom expert Pinky Vythilingam’s testimony did not accurately depict certain areas in Vosloorus.

Vythilingam resumed her testimony, focusing on the proximity of cell phone towers to the location where Meyiwa was killed in October 2014. The maps were central to this part of her testimony.

Defence Raises Concerns

On Wednesday, the court had adjourned early to allow the defence to review the maps and receive directions from their clients. However, Mnisi revealed that the maps were only provided to them an hour and a half before the court session began.

Mnisi stated, “There are areas in Vosloorus not shown on these maps that are crucial to our defence. We have an alternative version that includes more of Vosloorus. If the state insists on using this map, we will request a composite map that shows a larger area.”

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Judge’s Response

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng responded to Mnisi’s request, indicating that there is no legal basis for the defence to dictate how the state should present its case.

Thulani Mngomezulu, representing the first accused, stated that he was familiar with the area and ready to proceed. However, Mnisi insisted on a brief adjournment to resolve the map issue.

No Consensus Reached

After a short adjournment, prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda informed the court that no agreement had been reached. “We believe we can proceed with the current maps. However, if the defence needs more time to review them, we are willing to adjourn until tomorrow,” said Sibanda.

Sibanda further argued that the additional information requested by the defence would not aid in presenting their evidence.

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Vodacom Expert’s Ongoing Testimony

Pinky Vythilingam, the Vodacom expert, is now in her second week of testimony. Her statements have focused on the activity of cell phones used by those present at the crime scene, including records of calls, text messages, and the locations of phone towers that picked up these signals.

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