The fatal shooting of Meyiwa was allegedly a ‘contractual assassination’
Fisokuhle Ntuli, a man police believe called singer Kelly Khumalo weeks before Senzo Meyiwa’s murder, was the alleged driver of the getaway car on the night of the murder.
Brig Bongani Gininda, the lead investigator in the Meyiwa murder case, told the Pretoria high court yesterday that Ntuli was the driver of the silver-grey Polo used on the night, while his co-accused Mthokoziseni Maphisa was on the lookout.
This is the first time that any state witness has placed Ntuli at the crime scene since the trial started last year under judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng.
Maphisa allegedly confessed to a private person about his involvement.
According to Gininda, this was after he asked the person for information on why Bongani Ntanzi [co-accused] had been arrested.
Ntuli, Mthobisi Mncube, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Ntanzi and Maphisa are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder. They have pleaded not guilty.
Monday was the resumption of the trial within a trial set to determine the admissibility of the confession made by Sibiya and Ntanzi. The accused are known hitmen.
Ntuli was in 2022 convicted on six counts of murder by the Esikhawini regional court. He was sentenced to six life terms and 39 years. He is accused number five in the Meyiwa trial.
Ginindi also said evidence obtained under oath shows the fatal shooting of the soccer star was a “contractual assassination” and not a botched robbery.
Meyiwa was shot dead in the presence of his then girlfriend Kelly at her mother’s home in Vosloorus in October 2014.
The occupants claimed Meyiwa was killed by one of two intruders who barged into the home and demanded cellphones and money.
Gininda, outlined the alleged role of each accused in the crime.
Sibiya was first linked to the murder through witness statements. He was further linked by circumstantial evidence where he disclosed at a family gathering he attended in Vosloorus about the killing of Meyiwa even before the death was reported in the media.
“He is further linked through a formal confession he made on May 30 2020 [and] the suspect made a formal pointing out of the sequence collection before the incident, pointing out the guarding of the outside the house during the assassination and dropping off the accused at the cellphone tower,” he said.
Ntanzi was also linked to the murder through certified sworn statements he made to witnesses and an identikit compiled from descriptions by witnesses.
Gininda said he was identified as the person with a hoodie who initially stood outside the house.
“The suspect was traced through information received and was confronted with the evidence. He was, among other things, confronted with the clothes he was alleged to have worn and [the] identikit,” Gininda said.
“During questioning, the suspect and a subsequent search where the ammunition was found for which no licence was produced, the suspect was arrested for this offence [and] the suspect expressed his eagerness to confess to his involvement in this matter.”
Gininda said Ntanzi confessed to a commission officer in June 2020 and later made another confession in the presence of his attorney to a magistrate in Boksburg on June 24 2020.
Through the confession, it appeared Ntanzi is the suspect described as the tall slender suspect who entered the Vosloorus home.
The affidavit fingered Mncube as the gunman linked through statements and co-accused confessions.
“It was established that the suspect was a sentenced prisoner serving 35 years for a murder committed in 2015. Tests revealed the same firearm used in the murder for which the accused was serving his sentence was used to murder Meyiwa,” said Gininda.
“Upon the accused’s arrest for the 2015 murder, a cellphone in his possession was seized. The photos found on his cellphone show him wearing the same clothing witnesses identified on the day of the incident as the accused carrying the revolver.”
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Photos of Mncube matched the description of the suspect who had firearms, dreadlocks, big eyes and gold teeth.
“This is the suspect who went into the house and demanded cellphones and money,” said Gininda.
The murder weapon was also on pictures found on his phone.
Gininda said the investigation revealed the cellphone taken from the house during the robbery was picked up by cellphone towers until the signal was lost in the area of Vosloorus hostel. The cellphone was never recovered.
State witness Col Lambertus Steyn, who is an analyst at the SAPS Cold Case Unit, previously told the court that Ntuli had called Meyiwa’s ex-girlfriend Kelly twice just weeks before Meyiwa was killed.
However, Ntuli’s lawyer, Adv Zandile Mshololo, poked holes in Steyn’s evidence, asking him if he had checked with any cellphone service providers if the number Ntuli allegedly used really belonged to him. Steyn said he never did.