The defence in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has called for the precise mapping of Sergeant Vusumuzi Mogane’s Toyota Fortuner using the coordinates of the Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system.
According to accused 2, Bongani Ntanzi’s version of events, before he confessed to the 2014 murder of former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, Mogane took him to various places where he was tortured, including an open area next to a garage in Alberton, as well as a dumping place in Germiston, among others.
The AVL reports have revealed that the night before Ntanzi’s first alleged confession, Mogane’s car with Ntanzi in it, indeed made a stop at a garage opposite an open area in Verwoerdpark in Alberton, and made some movements within the same area for just over four hours.
However, the coordinates on the AVL records do not indicate whether there was any stop at a dumping site, on that evening, or at any point from the time Ntanzi was arrested on the 16th of June 2020.
The defence believes they have an answer to this dilemma.
Advocate Charles Mnisi explains, “I think it would be in the best interest of this case that we request, Mr Du Preez, to prepare for us the coordinates, number 1, the exact spots, number 1; number 2, the mapping of this vehicle from the date on which it started engaging with accused 2, and I think accused 1 as well up to the day that it went to the garage.”
“Because the reason is, as we are looking here, we are unable to follow meticulously what this is, vis-à-vis the version that we are getting from our clients,” Mnisi adds.
Opening his cross-examination of Michael du Preez, a vehicle tracking expert and COO of C-Track – a company responsible for fitting tracking devices in SAPS vehicles, Advocate Mnisi questioned the precision of the AVL report.
All locations in the report are prefixed with the word “Near” instead of “At” to indicate the movement of Mogane’s car.
“Confusion was created and the word became a point of contest in court because we would say the vehicle is ‘AT Madiba Street or IN Madiba Street’ but if I am on the pavement of Madiba Street, the question is ‘am I still ON Madiba Street or IN/NEAR Madina Street?’ So, the wording was changed to NEAR to rule out any … I don’t want to say silly points of arguments, but points arguments to say IN the street or ON on the street.”
Du Preez says the coordinates should resolve any confusion about the precision of the system with the use of the coordinates.
Accused 1, Muszi Sibiya, was arrested on the afternoon of the 30th of May 2020 for a drug-related matter and a couple of hours allegedly confessed in relation to Meyiwa’s murder. He has alleged he was tortured into signing a prepared confession statement at the Diepkloof Police Station in front Colonel Mhlanganyelwa Mbotho.
Sibiya’s legal counsel has told the court that he was tortured by the police who arrested him.
The following day, Sibiya was transported to point out a sangoma in Palm Ridge, and six days later, he was taken to conduct pointings-out at the crime scene as well as the local hostel where a previous witness, Constable Sizwe Zungu has told the court he’d seen all the five accused the day Meyiwa was killed.
Mogane’s car was used to transport Sibiya on the 31st, while he used a different car on the 5th of June for the pointings-out.
The defense wants the precise mapping of Mogane’s car from the 31st of May until the 24th of June when Ntanzi made his second confession in Boksburg.
Mogane will be back on the stand on Friday morning and once Du Preez has completed the mapping of the vehicle, he will also return to court, which could, at the time, once again necessitate the recall of Mogane back to the stand.