The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has been postponed to January next year after one of the defence advocates complained he was not feeling well and needed medical attention.
A visibly unhappy Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng acceded to the request after defence advocate Bheki Mngomezulu told the Gauteng North High Court, Pretoria, that he needed to consult a medical doctor.
The court has heard previously that the deputy judge president Audrey Ledwaba wanted the case resolved speedily in order for other cases to be resolved.
The murder trial was due to go to recess on Friday.
Five men: Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are accused of murdering the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper at the Vosloorus home of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, during a suspected hit.
Meyiwa was murdered over nine years ago, in October 2014, while the accused were only charged with his murder six years later, in October 2020, after a crack team of Cold Case Unit officers led by Brigadier Bongani Gininda linked them with the case.
The court adjourns with Gininda under cross-examination by defence advocate Mngomezulu, who had attempted to force an early adjournment on Wednesday, but Judge Mokgoatlheng shot it down and ordered him to continue with his cross-examination.
Advocate Mngomezulu would later accuse Judge Mokgoatlheng of interfering in his cross-examination as the two clashed during court proceedings on Wednesday.
During proceedings on Thursday morning, Judge Mokgoatlheng gave advocate Mngomezulu a short adjournment to allow him to get his paperwork in order, but the short adjournment later turned into a prolonged adjournment, only for the matter to be stood down in its entirety.
Said Mngomezulu: “My lord, we have discussed with my colleagues regarding the situation. I have indicated to them that I am not feeling well and need to consult a doctor”.
State advocate George Baloyi said they had no option but to accede to the request and adjourn the matter until January 22, 2024.
“Mr Mngomezulu has advised the court that he is not feeling well. For that reason, we are unable to continue. He says he will be feeling okay next year January. For those reasons, this court has no choice but to postpone this matter until next year,” he said.
In a dig at Mngomezulu, Judge Mokgoatlheng said to Mngomezulu, “Can you see that yesterday I was not interfering? You were not feeling well”.
The court is currently in a trial-within-a-trial to determine if the alleged confessions made by Sibiya and Ntanzi were made freely and voluntarily.
The trial will resume on January 22, 2024.