In a significant development in the trial concerning the 2014 murder of South African footballer Senzo Meyiwa, it has been revealed that the 9mm parabellum pistol, identified as the murder weapon, was stolen a year prior to the crime during a cash-in-transit (CIT) robbery.
Before the Pretoria high court presiding over the trial of five individuals accused of Meyiwa’s murder, Peter Jacobus Smuts of the CIT company SBV confirmed that the firearm had previously belonged to the company and had been reported stolen in 2013 as reported by the Herald Live.
Previous witnesses for the prosecution had attested that the firearm was used to fatally shoot Meyiwa and had been confiscated from Mthobisi Prince Mncube when he was arrested in connection with a separate taxi-related murder case in Cleveland, Johannesburg, in 2015.
Smuts, examining documentation presented in court, corroborated the firearm’s ownership by SBV Services. He presented the firearm’s legitimate license, indicating it was issued to SBV Services, was of Czech origin, and had the serial number 8587B. It was identified as a 9mm parabellum pistol.
Smuts recounted that the firearm had been stolen at a shopping centre in Rabie Ridge, Johannesburg, in May 2013 during an attack on SBV security officers who the assailants subsequently disarmed. The theft was promptly reported, and a case was registered. In November 2020, Sgt. Mulaudzi contacted Smuts to request an affidavit verifying the recovered firearm’s ownership by SBV Services.
He further explained that the firearm could fire 9mm ammunition, including full metal jacket bullets and complete metal jacket, with the specific size being 9×19mm.
When asked by Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng if there was a way to verify the authenticity of the barrel, Smuts indicated that the barrel number correlated with the serial number. Still, he noted that it had been deliberately scratched off. However, he emphasised that the rifling cuts inside the barrel could be used to confirm its identity.
Ballistics expert Warrant Officer Cornelius Roelofse, who had testified earlier in the trial, confirmed that the 9mm parabellum pistol presented in court matched the same firearm he had investigated and tested in an Alexandra murder case. Roelofse displayed evidence that he had marked the firearm with a lab number under the trigger and marked the blue box found with ammunition using a marker. He had successfully retrieved the scratched-off firearm serial number.
The trial is ongoing as it continues to examine critical pieces of evidence in the case.
Follow us on Google News
Photo: Facebook / @HeraldLIVE – Nelson Mandela Bay