Senzo Meyiwa-Image Source@TwitterSenzo Meyiwa-Image Source@Twitter

Slain Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa’s Murder Trial Faces Delays with New Judge

Family, friends, and fans of slain Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa may have to wait even longer to find out who murdered him in October 2014 as his trial could be starting de novo.

This comes after a new judge was appointed to preside over the trial. On Monday, 3 July, eNCA confirmed that Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng will take over from Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, who was suspended by President Ramaphosa last week.

Judge Maumela’s suspension was recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) pending the outcome of an inquiry into his alleged failure to deliver a series of reserved judgments. However, the JSC proposed that judges “during the period of suspension, finalize all matters presently before them.”

Also Read: ‘He Did This To Himself’| Senzo Meyiwa Trial Unleashes Social Media Storm As Zandie Khumalo Testifies 

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng-Image Source@Twitter
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng-Image Source@Twitter

Prior to his suspension, the Meyiwa murder trial had hit many snags. Last month, the trial was postponed after Judge Maumela fell ill. Gauteng Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba Judge Ledwaba said Judge Maumela would not be available for some time, subject to what his medical doctors might say.

The trial is set to resume on 17 July.

Also Read: ‘My mind froze’ Zandile Khumalo Testifies In Senzo Meyiwa’s Murder Trial

Why Should Senzo Meyiwa’s Murder Trial Start Over?

According to legal expert Elton Hart, it is important for the new judge to observe the demeanor of the witnesses when they testify because that will help the judge to check if the witness is credible or not.

“There is a possibility that the [new] judge will say, I will look at Judge Maumela’s notes and try and work with those notes, but that will be difficult, and the accused could step in and say the judge did not have a chance to observe the witnesses and their demeanor and that might be prejudicial… so, starting de novo would be the best option,” said Hart.

He further told eNCA that starting over could give the defense counsel an advantage because they will compare the witnesses’ first testimonies under Judge Maumela to their new testimonies under Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng for inconsistencies.

Also Read: Zandie Khumalo’s Joy Sparks Public Outrage Amid Senzo Meyiwa Trial Delay 

Previous Witnesses

Zandile Khumalo-Image Source@Twitter
Zandile Khumalo-Image Source@Twitter

Before the recent postponement, one of the witnesses, Zandie Khumalo, had taken to the witness stand. The singer, who is Senzo’s then-girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s sister, broke down as she identified one of the five men being tried for the crime as the one who pulled the trigger.

The five men are: Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli.

Other witnesses who have testified include Meyiwa’s friends, Tumelo Madlala and Mthokozisi Thwala.


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