Judge Shuts Down Advocate Malesela Teffo’s Bid to Have Senzo Meyiwa Trial Struck off Roll, Expert Weighs In

Judge Shuts Down Advocate Malesela Teffo’s Bid to Have Senzo Meyiwa Trial Struck off Roll, Expert Weighs In

  • Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela shut down Advocate Malesela Teffo's bid to halt the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial
  • Teffo called for the court to have a trial within a trial and claimed his clients’ rights were violated two years ago
  • The court proceedings were postponed after the state witness said he was unwell and could not continue with proceedings

JOHANNESBURG - A bid to halt the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial was denied by the Gauteng High Court following Advocate Malesela Teffo’s appeal. The lawyer representing four of the five men accused of Meyiwa’s murder claimed that his clients had their rights violated when they first appeared in court two years ago.

The advocate told the court that the accused were not informed of their rights and claimed that they had not been charged yet when they appeared in court. Advocate Teffo said continuing with the trial would be futile.

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Advocate Malesela Teffo, Senzo Meyiwa, struck of roll, says rights violated, judge dismisses, application, murder, court
A judge dismissed Advocate Malesela Teffo's bid to strike the trial off the court roll. Image: OJ Koloti/Gallo Image
Source: Getty Images

He also argued that the accused were assaulted and intimidated into giving confessions, which need to be tested. Teffo called for the court to have a trial within a trial before continuing with court proceedings, News24 reported.

He said all the evidence brought into the trial was irrelevant because the accused were brought into court wrongfully. Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela shut down Teffo’s argument and dismissed his requests, ruling that the trial should continue.

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Advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents the fifth accused, and Teffo agreed to the postponement of the case until Monday 6 June, according to Mail and Guardian.

Expert says a confession admitted by the court is as good as a guilty plea

Speaking exclusively to Briefly News, legal expert Advocate Thembana Manzana weighed in on matters surrounding the case. He said a trial within a trial is a common occurrence and can feature when an accused contests that the ammunition casing found at a crime scene comes from a particular weapon.

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“Another case it occurs in, is when the proper procedures of a DNA test, storage or keeping of the samples were not followed, to an extent that there’s a risk that the results could be wrong,” Manzana said.

In reference to Teffo claiming his clients were intimidated into giving confessions, Manzana said a confession is presumed admissible until challenged.

“Once it is challenged, the burden of prove of the allegations shift to Teffo and is tested on the balance of probability. It is where a trial within a trial resumes, to rebut the presumed admissibility,” he added.

Manzana added that a confession admitted by the court is as good as a guilty plea.

“Unequivocally, admission of guilt, thus exonerate the state from proving all elements of the alleged offence; this is a direct implication of a confession,” Manzana added.

He further stated that if Teffo gets the admissions thrown out of court, the state cannot use the confession in the trial or bind the accused persons by such evidence. The proceeding will take the normal course wherein all necessary witnesses are called to testify to prove the allegations contained in the charge sheet.

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SA reacts to court proceedings

Social media users reacted to the trial and weighed in on the drama surrounding Advocate Malesela Teffo:

Lukia Masilo said:

“I don't like how he treats Teffo, yes he might not be like Mshololo but he's got valid reasons why he's questioning the two dockets and why they decided to go with this one instead of the real docket, anyways hopefully the truth will be revealed in due course.”

Thabita Moloi commented:

“Funny enough during his turn nobody stopped him now he wants to stop everything, we still want to hear the eyewitness side.”

Kelvyn Davidson wrote:

“One has to question why is this such a high profile case, a state funeral and all the other over the top attachments.”

Silviah Khomotjo Mushwana posted:

“I suspect that Mosia was advised to act ill as the questions expose cover-up by the colonel who was at the crime scene first. Why Mosia is lying about the pictures and swaps he did not take? Teffo must learn to relax, relax South Africa’s best advocate of the year.”

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Mxolisi Nobathana stated:

“Teffo needs to get his seat belt because the second round is still coming. Gerrie Nel is going to call a Crime scene expert.”

Phillip Pule Mokoena added:

“Today Adv Teffo was definitely out of order today. The Court is in the middle of cross examination by Adv Mshololo and he wants it to come to a halt so that he can bring in a TRIAL WITHIN TRIAL immediately. His timing is wrong. That's why the Judge was left with no choice but to draw a line in sand. He really has to be taught about the art of cross examination.”

Senzo Meyiwa murder trial: State witness Sgt Thabo Mosia says he’s unwell following grilling from defence

In a related matter, Briefly News also reported the court proceeding for the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has been postponed to Monday 6 June. The state witness in the case claims he is unwell and took medication therefore he is unable to proceed.

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Senzo Meyiwa murder trial: Witness statement claims crime scene was cleaned up, says defence team

This follows the defence lawyer representing one of the men accused of Meyiwa’s murder claiming that the evidence collected from the crime scene was planted. Advocate Zandile Mshololo attempted to discredit the testimony of the state witness, forensic expert Sargent Thabo Mosia on Thursday 2 June. The advocate was cross-examining the witness and accused him of not mentioning crucial evidence because it never existed.

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Source: Briefly News

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