Senzo Meyiwa Murder Trial Erupts in Courtroom Scuffle: Accused Clash with Warden
On Monday, a brawl erupted between some individuals on trial for the murder of Senzo Meyiwa and a Correction Services warden at the High Court in Pretoria.
The altercation, captured on camera, involved Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Ntuli.
Tea Break Dispute Triggers Senzo Meyiwa Trial Scuffle
The defence attorney for accused number three, Advocate Charles Mncube, informed the court that his client became upset when the accused were not allowed to stretch their legs during a tea break. The incident was triggered when the Correctional Services warden allegedly insisted that they sit down during the 15-minute break.
Advocate Charles Mncube stated,
“But today, specifically, he approached them again and said to them they should sit down like how they are seated here. And, according to accused number three, (the warden) Vusi, uttered the words, if they don’t want to comply with his instruction he is going to hit them.”
“So then they said, ‘This is an adjournment and we are entitled to stretch our legs because we are seated here for more than two hours. So we can’t continue sitting like this’. So he did not take kindly to that, and then he started to hold him and hit him with the shoulder. And accused number three had to stand to one of those blows but not in a way of retaliation but to ward off the blows,” Mncube continued.
Dueling Perspectives: Accused and Warden Share Conflicting Stories
Meanwhile, the warden shared his version of events, stating,
“I called and said, ‘Ntuli, you don’t sit like that’. Then they hounded me and threatened to beat me up if I came close to them. I then said they can fight me if they want.”
He explained that when he tried to pull accused four, accused number three threw a punch, with accused number 4 and 5 joining in the altercation.
I then tried to pull accused four, but accused number three was closer. Then I saw a blow coming for me. It was accused number three, then number four, then five. I tried to come closer, and they were standing, but the other two didn’t do anything,” the warden said.
You can watch the whole incident below:
During the tea break there was a minor clash between the prison warders and the accused. This after some of the warders asked the accused to sit properly in court.#SenzoMeyiwa #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/EVF3er3o4f
— Chriselda Zozi Lewis (Babes Wendaba) (@Chriseldalewis) November 27, 2023
DCS Condemns Senzo Meyiwa Murder Trial Scuffle
The Department of Correctional Services released a statement condemning the altercation. National Commissioner Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale expressed strong disapproval of the inmates’ behaviour and announced that an official investigation into the matter has been launched.
The statement emphasized that disrespect towards Correctional Officials will not be tolerated, and any complaints or issues should be addressed through established processes and channels within the Department of Correctional Services.