Magistrate’s Testimony: Senzo Meyiwa Murder Accused’s Confession Not Made Under Duress

Magistrate’s Testimony: Senzo Meyiwa Murder Accused’s Confession Not Made Under Duress

Magistrate Confirms Bongani Ntanzi’s Voluntary Confession

In a significant development, Magistrate Vivian Cronje testified that Bongani Ntanzi, one of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case, confirmed that he was neither assaulted nor threatened by the police when he made his confession.

This testimony was presented during the trial-within-a-trial at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on October 17.

Trial-Within-a-Trial Examines Confession Admissibility

The trial-within-a-trial is focused on determining the admissibility of the confessions made by the accused individuals, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi.

Notably, Ntanzi is said to have made two confessions—one to a magistrate and another to a police officer.

Magistrate’s Account of the Confession Process

During her testimony, Magistrate Vivian Cronje revealed that she was approached by a senior magistrate in Vosloorus to record a confession at the Boksburg Magistrates Court on June 24, 2020.

Upon arrival, she met with Bongani Ntanzi and his lawyer, who introduced himself as Mr. Mjiyakho.

Cronje explained that, following standard procedures, she posed a series of questions and ensured that Ntanzi understood the process. Ntanzi then signed all the pages in the presence of Mr. Mjiyakho and an interpreter.

The magistrate also informed the court that she cautioned Ntanzi, emphasizing that he was not compelled to make a statement, as it could be used against him in court, and he had the right to remain silent.

Despite this caution, Ntanzi expressed his desire to make the confession, which Cronje duly recorded, even though he had not been informed.

Disputing Claims of Duress

Ntanzi had previously asserted that he was assaulted by the police and coerced into signing the confession statement.

However, Magistrate Cronje informed the court that she had asked Ntanzi if he had any injuries and requested that he show them.

Ntanzi’s response was, “His answer was no, except for old injuries I sustained underground and the one I sustained when I was young; my grandmother was trying to hit a chicken, and the blow fell on my face.”

Newly appointed Advocate Thulani Mngomezulu contended that Ntanzi’s confession statement was made under duress and that Ntanzi did not sign the statement in the presence of Magistrate Cronje.

Witnesses and Accusations

Various witnesses who have testified in court have implicated Ntanzi as one of the alleged intruders who entered singer Kelly Khumalo’s house on October 26, 2014, and was involved in a confrontation with Senzo Meyiwa.

Police officer Constable Sizwe Zungu also testified that he was with all five accused at a hostel in Vosloorus on the day Meyiwa was shot and killed.

Zungu detailed that Sibiya, Ntanzi, and Mncube disappeared briefly and returned to his nephew’s room carrying firearms.

Notably, Ntanzi swiftly changed into a different hoodie jacket upon their return.

The trial continues, with ongoing scrutiny of the admissibility of confessions in this high-profile case.

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