Lieutenant Colonel Thobeka Mhlahlo takes the stand in Meyiwa murder trial

Lieutenant Colonel Thobeka Mhlahlo takes the stand in Meyiwa murder trial

Lieutenant Colonel Thobeka Mhlahlo has become the latest witness to take the stand in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at the high court in Pretoria.

Mhlahlo’s name was a frequent feature in the previous state witness, Warrant Officer Thabo Mosia’s testimony.

According to Mosia, the lieutenant colonel, who arrived on the scene at about 9h10 on the morning of the 27th of October, was the one who discovered the projectile on his return to the scene, from two other crimes scene he had to attend to.

Mhlahlo says she focused on taking pictures and investigating fingerprints on the crime scene after she had been briefed on what had transpired by Mosia and Captain Zwane.

The discovery of the bullet projectile only the following morning after the shooting has once again come under the spotlight. This, as well as the reasons why Mosia left the crime scene and came back a few hours later to discover this exhibit on the kitchen counter.

According to Mosia, on his first visit to the crime scene he only noticed a bullet fragment on the kitchen floor, and only on his second visit, with the assistance of Colonel Mhlahlo, was the bullet projectile on the kitchen counter detected.

Adv Mshololo rejected Mosia’s testimony that he had other cases to attend to.

Zandile Mshololo: “I put it to you that there were no cases you had to attend to.”

Thabo Mosia: “I disagree with that even though I don’t have proof of that.”

Zandile Mshololo: “And it is your evidence the time you left the crime scene you had not identified the bullet on the cupboard.”

Thabo Mosia: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Zandile Mshololo: “Do you know if someone placed that bullet that you found the second time?”

Thabo Mosia: “No, I have no knowledge of that.”

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng: “Are you not going to put to him who left the bullet there? Because that’s critical as far as I am concerned. Do you know who placed that bullet on top of the bullet? So, it means you have instructions concerning those exhibits.”

Mosia says the exhibits he collected from the scene were locked up in his lockable safe in his office wherein they were kept overnight before they were handed to the exhibit clerk the following day. He says there’s nothing wrong with how this evidence was handled.

Earlier, Advocate Zithulele Nxumalo’s cross-examination of the witness hit a snag when he asked the witness to bring to court the register into which he had recorded the two cases he had to attend when he left the Meyiwa crime scene the first time.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng was rather scathing when he intervened.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng: “So, what do you want to do sir. Counsel is supposed to come to court knowing the law. Because you want to me to postpone to tomorrow so that you can read the cases.”

Zithulele Nxumalo: “I think that would be proper, my lord.”

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng: “No, let me tell you the procedure. You are going to bring this application before this court, for whatever basis you think, That admissions were incorrectly made or they have to be rectified or added to. Then this one must decide on the basis of that application, ok? Ngeke ujike nje!”

In the post-lunch adjournment proceedings, Nxumalo insisted the registers he had requested should be made available, arguing that would not prejudice the state in anyway.

Advocate Charles Mnisi insisted the register could not just grow legs and disappear, arguing if the court didn’t compel the witness to make the documents available could prejudice the accused and form the basis for the argument of an unfair trial.

Mosia, however, raised health concerns.

“This could be used to argue in a different court that the trial was unfair and that they were never afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the witness on that.”

Ratha Mokgoatleng: “I would never refuse cross-examination.”

Thabo Mosia: “I have been in this box for so long and I can’t anymore. I don’t understand what more is needed from me now, when I was just doing my work. My body cannot take it anymore.”

Lieutenant Colonel Mhlahlo will continue with her evidence-in-chief when the trial resumes on Wednesday morning.

Senzo Meyiwa murder trial | Adv Zandile Moshololo to cross-examine Thabo Mosi:

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