The four police officers, two constables and two student constables, who first attended the Senzo Meyiwa crime scene left it in the care of Kelly Khumalo’s uncle, Themba Khumalo, when they rushed to the hospital to look for more information on what had transpired.
This was for the second time revealed in the High Court in Pretoria by Sergeant Timothy Mathebula.
Police were further grilled on why they didn’t cordon off the scene the first time they arrived.
Sergeant Mthethwa yesterday and Sergeant Timothy Mathebula today, have told the court they did not regard Kelly Khumalo’s house as a crime scene on their first visit. This is despite having received a call about a shooting incident at the address.
Advocate Zandile Mshololo enquired from the witness why they had not separated, leaving behind officers who could guard the scene.
Mshololo: Why didn’t you leave the others at the scene?
Mathebula: They were still students.
Mshololo: And between you and Mthethwa?
Mathebula: That never occurred to us.
Mathebula, who took the stand on Wednesday, has conceded that they had failed in their responsibilities to secure the crime scene, ensure that the exhibits were not tampered with and ensure that no further crime occurred at the scene.
A constable with six years of experience at the time, Mathebula says on their first visit, they got into the house and looked for exhibits and when they couldn’t find any, they left the scene, instructing Themba Khumalo to lock the house as they rushed to the hospital.
He says they saw a crutch and hat in the kitchen but didn’t regard them as exhibits as well. He says they looked all over the place and didn’t notice a bullet projectile that they only noticed after they had come back from the hospital.
Under a brief cross-examination by Adv Charles Mnisi, the witness has told the court on their first visit they searched around including the kitchen sink and they didn’t see any bullet projectile.
Advocate Mshololo wanted to know why.
“When we drove back from the hospital MaKhumalo told us there was a shooting and as we checked we saw the projectile,” says Mathebula.
For almost his entire testimony, Mathebula stood on his feet and spoke in a very low voice. The only time he raised his voice, for a few sentences, was when attorney Sipho Ramosepele, for accused 1 and 2, made a request that he speak up. But moments later, Mathebula was back speaking very low, giving only a few words in his answers.
Previously, Nthabiseng Mokete, a neighbour who says she was in the car on the street when the gunshots went off on the evening of 26 October 2014, told the court that she had travelled from the hospital in a police van with Kelly Khumalo’s mother, Gladness.
She also told the court she was the person that helped the police with locating the bullet projectile on the kitchen floor.
These claims have been denied by both Mathebula and Mthethwa.
Sipho Ramosepele: Now, Nthabiseng Mokete says she was there, as the police were searching around, she saw the projectile and asked “is this not what you were looking for?”
Mathebula: I don’t remember that.
Ramosepele: So you don’t remember seeing this lady there.
Defence lawyer Charles Mnisi attempted to get a gun charge dropped against accused number three, Mthobisi Mncube,
Mncube was arrested in 2015 for a different case and found in possession of the unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Mnisi told the court that he was already convicted for possession of that firearm.
Advocate Mnisi: The firearm that was [the] issue here, is the firearm that Mr Dlamini and Mr Masondo came to testify about [and] the case was finalized July 27, 2017. It relates to the evidence that was supplied to this court by Mr Dlamini and Mr Masondo.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng: So, he was charged with possession of that particular firearm, only?
Advocate Mnisi: Yes, My Lord.
Mathebula has concluded giving testimony and Warrant Officer Thabo Mosia is currently on the stand.
Below is the live stream:
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com