Advocate Malesela Teffo has had a change of heart and decided he will continue to represent four of the suspects in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, but there are conditions.
It emerged yesterday that Teffo wrote to the high court to notify it he will continue representing accused numbers one to four.
His demands include that Police Minister Bheki Cele be fired and Meyiwa’s former girlfriend Kelly Khumalo be prosecuted.
Last month, Teffo, who was the advocate for the first four accused, said he would bring an eyewitness who would testify how it was Khumalo who pulled the trigger of a revolver that killed Meyiwa.
“The firearm used to shoot Senzo Robert Meyiwa by Kelly Khumalo came with Logwe Twala.”
He introduced this version of events by a witness who has not yet been called to the stand while cross-examining the State's first witness in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday morning.
Teffo said the witness would testify that Senzo Meyiwa was killed by Kelly Khumalo, using a revolver that belonged to Longwe Twala.
Longwe, the son of musician Chicco Twala, was one of the people at the house on the night of the shooting. Longwe had been dating Khumalo's sister, Zandie, at the time.
According to Teffo, a plan was hatched at the meeting to conceal the truth about Meyiwa's death and stage the scene so that those in the house would not be held responsible.
In a letter to prosecutor George Baloyi dated July 25, Teffo said: “Be informed that I am not going to withdraw in this matter and give the state undeserved due. We have since resolved my withdrawal issue with the relevant stakeholders in the matter and I am still the defence counsel for accused 1 and 4.”
When he withdrew as advocate for Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa, Teffo said he was quitting because of the harassment he claimed to have been subjected to by the judge, the police and the NPA.
In the letter, Advocate Teffo Malesela made a number of accusations against presiding judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, advocate Zandile Mshololo — counsel for the other accused, Fisokuhle Ntuli — and the prosecution.
He also alleged “a sangoma was on a mission to cause him to collapse inside the court”.
He claimed the sangoma had been attending court and was linked to Maumela.
He listed a number of conditions “we need to give the state before we could reconsider our stand in participating in these criminal proceedings again”. The defence and accused 1 to 4, who are in custody, will not attend the proceedings until the conditions are complied with, he said.
Teffo said his team wanted a separate trial from that of Ntuli.
“We need judge Bert Bam and/or [the] appointment of the retired judge in this matter.”
Baloyi had no title to prosecute and a new prosecutor must be appointed, Teffo said. Teffo also wanted advocate Andrew Chauke, the director of public prosecutions in Johannesburg, to withdraw “fabricated charges” against him.
Teffo said he heard on the news the case had been postponed until next Tuesday for the four accused to obtain new legal representatives.
“I had made it clear before the court that I withdrew from the matter as the defence counsel and as such did not include the withdrawal of my attorney Anthony Thobane.
“It was therefore bizarre for yourself as the state prosecutor advocate Mshololo for accused 5 and the court to made conclusion that Mr Thobane should be excluded legally from representing accused 1 to 4 in this matter.” Teffo said.
The date of August 2 was made without consulting Thobane.
Teffo said if the four accused had been informed they needed to get new legal representatives, they could have informed the court there was no need for a postponement because they were still represented by Thobane, who had the right to appear in the high court.
Senzo Meyiwa, who was a goalkeeper for Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates, was shot dead in October 2014 while at musician Kelly Khumalo's mother's house. The two were in a relationship and had a child. Khumalo and other people who were in the house at the time claimed Meyiwa was killed in a robbery gone wrong at the house in Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni.
Teffo claimed Kelly Khumalo and the others who were in the house were involved in Meyiwa's killing and should be tried instead of his clients.