Media kicked out of Meyiwa trial after face of state witness is shownNovember 16, 2022
All members of the media were kicked out of the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial on Wednesday after the face of state witness Tumelo Madlala was shown during a live broadcast.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela had earlier ruled that Madlala’s face should not be shown during the live broadcast, nor could photos be taken of him.
This is despite Madlala previously appearing on the Netflix documentary about Meyiwa’s murder.
However, the picture of Madlala that was leaked to the public appears to be photoshopped.
State prosecutor Advocate George Baloyi said they had checked the alleged live feed where Madlala’s face had allegedly appeared, but could not find the particular footage.
“A possibility has been mentioned that perhaps it is some manipulation or photoshopping,” Baloyi said.
This did not persuade Maumela, with the judge insisting that the trial could not continue if someone inside the courtroom had leaked the picture.
“That person should leave this courtroom now. If we don’t know who it is, all media is going out now,” he said.
ALSO READ: Madlala quizzed on why Longwe Twala fought with gunman on night Senzo Meyiwa was killed
Media houses apologise
The barring of the media on Wednesday comes after three media houses had to apologise in September in the wake of them chasing Madlala in the court building.
The court heard how Madlala was left petrified and unsettled after he was alleged chased by journalists.
The SABC, eNCA and Newzroom Afrika were kicked out of the court before being forced to apologise “for their reprehensible behaviour”.
Following this incident, Judge Maumela instructed the media to refrain from filming or taking pictures of Madlala.
ALSO READ: ‘I did not share it, it was mine’: Senzo Meyiwa’s friend grilled on money he got from Netflix
Meyiwa’s childhood friend
Madlala was Meyiwa’s childhood friend. He was in the house when the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was fatally shot on 26 October 2014.
Meyiwa was allegedly gunned down during a robbery at the family home of his then-lover, musician Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg.
Sifisokuhle Ntuli, Muzikawukhulelwa Sthemba Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Ncube and Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa are standing trial for Meyiwa’s murder and have pleaded not guilty.
The men have been charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition.
Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe