Witness, friend Tumelo Madlala hints Senzo Meyiwa’s ‘killer’ is in courtroom

The five accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

The five accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 15, 2022


Pretoria - Senzo Meyiwa’s friend Tumelo Madlala yesterday hinted that the person who shot the football star was in the courtroom.

This followed attempts by the State to have Madlala point out any of the accused he recognised in the dock, which was suppressed by the defence legal counsel.

However, he did indicate that the reason why he had requested a break during Tuesday’s proceedings was that he was annoyed at being in the same room as the gunman.

Madlala informed the court that he took part in an identity parade as well as a facial recognition Identikit exercise days after the incident.

Earlier, he testified that legendary music producer Chicco Twala offered Kelly Khumalo, Meyiwa’s girlfriend at the time, the opportunity to go on holiday just days after the soccer player’s death.

Madlala, who was on the witness stand for a second day yesterday, told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that during his stay at Khumalo and Meyiwa’s Mulbarton residence in the south of Johannesburg they were visited by Twala. The musician asked an inconsolable Khumalo if she did not want to go overseas for a holiday.

He also told the court that shortly after their arrival at the Mulbarton home following the shooting, Khumalo requested the security at the residence not to let the police in.

Although police managed to gain entry into the complex, he said Khumalo requested that the electricity be switched off, after which she made a call, and the police, who were attempting to peep through the windows, left the premises.

Madlala said he did not know who Khumalo had called to have the police vacate the premises.

Although five men were on trial for the murder of Meyiwa, Madlala said only two men entered the Vosloorus home and demanded money and cellphones from the occupants.

He said one of the assailants, who was in possession of the firearm, was short, had dreadlocks and was wearing a caramel jacket and the hat that was found on the scene by the police.

Madlala said that following the intrusion Longwe Twala, the son of the music producer, pushed one of the suspects aside and escaped through the kitchen door, something which he later questioned him over.

“I kept asking him (Longwe Twala) questions like how does it happen that someone comes in and asks for phones, and why didn’t you just give the person the phone instead of getting up and pushing the person? Maybe Senzo could have bought those phones back and then you still managed to get past the second person, and he said he went to look for back-up.”

Madlala said after the initial shot went off he ran into the bedroom where Khumalo and Meyiwa’s daughter, Thingo, was sleeping, and hid his phone under the blankets.

At the same time, he said, while making his way to the bedroom, Khumalo along with her mother and sister Zandile Khumalo were attacking the first attacker while Meyiwa was trying to deal with the second attacker.

“The only thing I thought of at the time was saving my life. I did not concentrate on what the others were doing,” he said.

Shortly before the matter adjourned advocate Zandile Mshololo, for one of the accused, requested Madlala to bring a copy of his flight ticket to court. The matter had to be postponed on Monday with the State saying it could not get an earlier flight for him to be in court on time.

The trial continues.

Pretoria News