Police accused of fabricating evidence as Bongani Ntanzi’s arrest detailed in Senzo Meyiwa murder trial

Accused two Bongani Ntanzi. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers

Accused two Bongani Ntanzi. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 2, 2023


The defence has accused police officers of fabrication, as evidence linked to the arrest of Bongani Ntanzi emerged in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial on Thursday.

South African Police Service Cold Case Unit officer Sergeant Vusumuzi Mogane was among the officers who arrested Ntanzi at his Phokeng home on June 16, 2020.

On Thursday, led by State advocate George Baloyi, Mogane told the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria, how he had been on the case since December 2019 when Investigating Officer Brigadier Bongani Gininda, who is also the head of the National Cold Case Unit in Pretoria, got information about the death of the footballer Meyiwa, who had been gunned down at the home of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, in October 2014.

“While we were conducting an investigation, the name of Bongani Ntanzi came up, and there was an informer who told us he was involved,” he said.

The court is in a trial-within-a-trial to determine if the alleged confessions made by Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi were made freely and voluntarily.

Mogane said they could not find Ntanzi for six months until they traced him to a mine in Westonaria.

Mogane said while they were investigating Ntanzi, they found other cases implicating him in a murder in Nongoma and drugs in Vosloorus.

Sergeant Mogane said he was with the late Sergeant Mabena and officers from Phokeng police station when they arrested Ntanzi on June 16, 2020.

They had an informer who tipped them off about Ntanzi's whereabouts, and they found him at his property with his Tswana girlfriend.

“We knocked at the room and informed him we are the police, and he opened. He was with his Tswana girlfriend.

“He was informed he was a suspect in the Nongoma murder case, where a firearm has been found.

“I asked him what he knows about the Nongoma case. I informed him of his rights and handcuffed him. We were arresting him for the Nongoma case,” said Mogane.

He was booked and processed at the Phokeng police station and they left the station at about 9pm, before arriving at the Pretoria North police station about 10pm, where it was noted he had no injuries.

Ntanzi was asked about his whereabouts on October 26, 2014, the day Meyiwa was killed, and he said he was at work at the Sibanye Stillwater Mine in Westonaria.

“We asked him if he could take us there to ascertain if he indeed was there, and he agreed.

“Since it was already late, we didn’t go, and we took him back to the cells, and an entry was made in that regard,” said Mogane.

Before proceeding to the mine, he said his rights were read to him again, and Brigadier Gininda and a Sergeant Mogola arrived in a separate car.

Before entering the mine, he was questioned again by Gininda about the Meyiwa murder, and he insisted he was at work on the day, saying he knew about it from the news.

“We went to human resources, and they checked, and it was discovered he was not at work. HR gave us a statement with regard to that.

“Brigadier Gininda showed Ntanzi a picture of an identikit which looked like Ntanzi.

“Gininda informed him of his rights and spoke to him, and after speaking with him, Gininda had spoken to Ntanzi, and Ntanzi having told him what he had told him, Gininda then said he would organise someone whom he could talk to who could take down his confession,” said Mogane.

Under objection, defence advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, who represents Ntanzi, said Mogane’s statement, which is dated October 25, 2023, had been acquired irregularly as it was commissioned by Gininda and dictated to him as well.

When he requested the original written statement, Mogane said it was shredded.

“This statement was irregularly made in the sense that the head of the investigation is the one dictated to. This statement consists of fabrication. Now it is the evidence of the witness that the original was shredded; this statement was made on October 25, 2023, while the trial-within-a-trial was proceeding,” he said.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng asked Mogane if he had been told what to say by Gininda, and he said no. He added that the investigating officer was allowed by law to take a statement from a witness in a case they were involved in.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Mogane also testified that Ntanzi had been represented in court on several occasions by attorney Dominic Mjiyako, the attorney his new defence now disputes represented him.

According to Mogane, Mjiyako was at the Boksburg court when Ntanzi gave a confession to Magistrate Vivienne Cronje on June 24, 2020, and he had represented him on at least seven occasions at various courts between July and November 2020.

The court also heard how Ntanzi had appeared in the Vosloorus Magistrate's Court in a drug dealing case, but it was not placed on the roll due to a lack of evidence.

He was ordered to Primrose police station in Germiston. Later that day, on June 19, they drove back to Phokeng with Ntanzi, and they went to search his house for the hoodie jacket worn by the accused in the identikit.

Police did not find the jacket, but they did find live rifle ammunition rounds, and he was charged for unlawful possession.

The trial continues on Friday.

IOL News