Medical Report Reveals No Abnormality in Accused 2 in Senzo Meyiwa Murder Trial
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In a shocking turn of events, right at the end of proceedings in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial on Wednesday, a medical report presented by the defence has noted no signs of abnormality with accused 2, Bongani Ntanzi, around the time the defense has been arguing he was tortured, tubed, assaulted and choked.
During re-examination, the prosecutor, Advocate George Baloyi, referred the witness, who according to the defence was present during the torture of the accused, to a medical report dated 22 June 2020. The oral report indicates orally there was nothing amiss with Ntanzi. “General appraisal – normal; TM joints – normal; lymph nodes – normal; intra-oral exam – normal; lips and buccal mucosa – normal; pharynx and tonsils – normal; floor of mouth – normal,” states Mogane, reading the report into the record.
Ntanzi was arrested on the 16th of June 2020, and since then, according to the defense, he was subjected to repeated torture by the police leading up to his first confession statement on the 19th of June.
Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu has sought to challenge the report, which the court has heard was submitted by him. He says when he handed up the medical report, it was not on the contents but on the date.
The judge in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has reserved his judgment on whether the police erred in law when they interviewed accused 2, Bongani Ntanzi, on the murder of the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper the day following his arrest.
Matters were brought to a standstill at the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday morning when the judge ordered the defense and the prosecution to consult the law on the events that took place when Ntanzi was interviewed by the police.
After the hour-long adjournment, Mshololo brought a judgment, which she argued, indicated that the police should have treated the 17 June interview with the accused as a warning statement. “The constitutional protection provided for in terms of Section 35 of the Constitution to arrestees is embodied in this principle. There’s no justification for any interview with a suspect who has been arrested or called in for questioning, without a warning statement being completed,” read Mshololo the judgment in part.
But Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng reminded the legal teams he was not merely an observer in the proceedings before he shared his own view. “A criminal trial is not a game where one side is entitled to claim the benefit of any omission or mistake by the other side,” noted Mokgoatlheng as he laid the basis for his view.
The founding member of Kaizer Chiefs, who became a judge after his playing days, quoted judgments that mentioned instances where the mere violation of a right did not necessarily mean evidence should be excluded.
Ntanzi was arrested on the 16th of June 2020 for a murder case in KwaNgongoma and the following day Mogane and his colleague, the late Sergeant Steven Mabena, interviewed him in relation to Meyiwa’s murder.
Mngomezulu argued it could not have been fair for the accused to be arrested for one matter and be interrogated on another, while Advocate Charles Mnisi submitted the court was conflating issues.