South Africa


Zandie Khumalo’s u-turn on the stand – can now ID suspect as an intruder on day of killing

Zandie Khumalo’s u-turn on the stand – can now ID suspect as an intruder on day of killing
Bongani Ntanzi, one of the suspects during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial at Pretoria High Court on 4 May 2023 in Pretoria. Witness Zandie Khumalo pointed to Ntanzi as one of the intruders on the evening off the murder of Meyiwa. (Photo: Gallo Images / OJ Koloti)

The fifth witness in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Zandie Khumalo, was emotionally rattled during testimony, asking the accused: ‘Do you know what you have done to our lives? Do you even know what you have done to us as a family?’

About 10 months ago, the fifth State witness, Zandile Khumalo, sister of musician Kelly Khumalo, said she would not be able to identify suspects who shot and killed Bafana Bafana soccer star Senzo Meyiwa at her home in Vosloorus, East of Johannesburg, in 2014.  

This week, however, she had a change of heart as she pointed to accused number two, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, while on the stand. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Witness Zandie Khumalo takes the stand after losing bid to ban broadcast of her testimony

Meyiwa was shot in what the State believes was a botched robbery and what the defence argues was a cold-blooded murder. At the time of the shooting, Meyiwa was in the presence of his then musician girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo; her mother, Ntombi;  Zandie, Zandie’s boyfriend, Longwe Twala; and two of Meyiwa’s friends, Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala.

In an interview with eNCA in July 2022, Zandie Khumalo broke her silence. She said she would not be able to identify the two intruders as they donned masks and a long time had lapsed since the incident. “They were wearing masks half of the time, so there is no way I can say it’s this one or that one… Maybe they’ve cut their hair, maybe they’ve gained weight, it’s been a while.” 

Taking the stand for the first time on Thursday afternoon and again on Friday, Khumalo pointed with certainty to one of the five accused men as being the first intruder who had a gun on the night the star was killed.  

The accused on trial are;  Fisokuhle Ntuli, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube and Mthokoziseni Maphisa. They face charges of murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, possession of firearms without a licence and possession of ammunition. They have all pleaded not guilty.

“Do you know what you have done to our lives? Do you even know what you have done to us as a family?” an emotional Khumalo said to the five accused.  

Judge Tshifiwa Maumela reprimanded Khumalo for her behaviour after advocate Sipho Ramosepele, who represents Ntanzi and accused number one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, objected to Khumalo’s gesture of addressing the accused instead of the court.   

The judge also warned Khumalo against speaking about the case with anybody, including on social media.  

Khumalo’s testimony came after nearly a week of delays after she brought an application for her visual and audio testimony not to be broadcast live.  The application was dismissed. 

Zandie Khumalo arrives at her home in Spruitview on October 27, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her sister Kelly Khumalo’s boyfriend Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

Justice for sister’s ex-lover 

Before the start of her testimony, prosecutor George Baloyi asked if she was aware of the court’s ruling that dismissed her application seeking to ban the live broadcast of her testimony.   

Khumalo responded that all her rights had been explained to her and that although she had the option to appeal the court’s decision, she had decided to take the stand in the interest of time and justice.   

Read more in Daily Maverick: Witness Zandie Khumalo takes the stand after losing bid to ban broadcast of her testimony 

“I want the matter to proceed and I do not want to waste time. I want Senzo to get justice.”  

Speaking about the events of the fateful day, Khumalo testified that she, her sister Kelly, Meyiwa and Twala went to Soweto for a musical performance and later went to pick up Madlala and drove to their home where her mother, Ntombie, had prepared lunch.  

On their way to the Khumalo home they bought R400 worth of alcohol.    

She recalled that as the group was about to disperse, while they were sitting, “Kelly stood up and cracked a joke, I can’t remember what it was about. While we were listening to her speaking, two gentlemen entered the house, that one in particular (Ntanzi).”  

How many shots were fired?  

She said the first intruder then pointed the firearm at all of them, demanding money and cellphones. “While all of us were still shocked and not certain if what was happening was indeed taking place, I heard a click of a gun and Longwe stood up and pushed the intruder with dreadlocks.” 

After Longwe had escaped, Khumalo said they all stood up to fight the second intruder, while Meyiwa wrestled for the firearm with the first intruder. A second gunshot was fired, further shocking everyone in the house. She said they ran to a bathroom while her sister Kelly helped Meyiwa.   

Flashback – Senzo Meyiwa of Pirates during the Absa Premiership match between Black Aces and Orlando Pirates at Mbombela Stadium on March 18, 2014 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images)

The previous State witness, Mthokozisi Thwala, could not take the court into confidence around the number of gunshots which were fired.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: Witness to Senzo Meyiwa murder accused of fabricating his testimony 

As she hid in the bathroom, Khumalo said a third gunshot was fired. Moments later, the intruders left and Meyiwa lay wounded on the floor, being assisted by Kelly.  

Khumalo said she was so “hysterical” that she could not even dial her phone when she wanted to contact the police. She ran to a neighbour for help.  

Trip to hospital

After seeking help Khumalo said she returned home where she found Meyiwa being lifted into Kelly’s car. She got into the car and they drove to hospital.  

They held Meyiwa, who had been bleeding moderately. I kept on touching and shaking his face, saying he must stay alive, and to keep his eyes open because we were almost at the hospital.”  

She recalled feeling Meyiwa’s body temperature dropping. “I placed my hands in his abdominal area and I could tell that his body temperature was decreasing, his body was getting cold,” she said as she got emotional.  

The State requested she be given a comfort break. 

Khumalo further testified that hours after Meyiwa had been taken inside the hospital, he was declared dead and Kelly asked to see his body and accompanied her. 

“She spoke to him although I can’t remember what she was saying, kissed him on the forehead, removed his earrings and watch,” she said.  

When the sisters returned from seeing Meyiwa’s lifeless body, the hospital had filled with Meyiwa’s friends, colleagues and his wife, Mandisa Meyiwa, whom Khumalo alleged that they accused Kelly of murdering him.  

“Upon their arrival, they went straight to Kelly and they started assaulting her, pulling out her braids… As they were busy fighting Kelly, Mandisa kept on saying, ‘you’ve killed him, you killed him’.”  

Proceedings wrapped up on Friday and set to resume on June 12, when Khumalo will complete her testimony, and the defence thereafter due to commence with cross-examination. DM


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