The Department of Correctional Services is expressing strong condemnation for the behaviour exhibited by three of the Senzo Meyiwa murder accused during a courtroom scuffle caught on video. According to IOL, the incident occurred during the trial tea break when the accused, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli, engaged in a scuffle with an armed prison warder. The prison boss Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale stated unequivocally that the department would not tolerate such behaviour and is prepared to act. The scuffle erupted when the warder confronted one of the accused, sitting on top of a court bench, requesting them to sit down in an orderly manner. The commissioner emphasised that any disrespect would be thoroughly investigated, and security measures would be reviewed to ensure the safety of those near the inmates.
All five accused wear leg chains and are not handcuffed in court. However, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi did not participate in the scuffle. They remain under constant watch by a tactical team from Correctional Services. Thobakgale made it clear that correctional officials must uphold a standard of behaviour, fulfilling escort and guarding responsibilities on behalf of the state. He stressed that any unbecoming conduct warrants a security review to safeguard those closer to the inmates. The commissioner asserted the department’s commitment to promptly and decisively responding to such incidents.
In addressing the courtroom dynamics, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng emphasised the need for everyone involved to “just behave” and “act like adults.” While refraining from making specific findings on the scuffle, he called for decorum. He stressed the importance of law enforcement officers ensuring that proper conduct is maintained in line with their duties. Advocates for the accused argued that their clients defended themselves, providing their perspective on the altercation. Meanwhile, Brigadier Bongani Gininda, head of the Cold Case Unit and the investigating officer in the Meyiwa murder trial, took the stand and will continue with his evidence. The trial is currently in a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of alleged confessions made by Ntanzi and Sibiya. The proceedings continue, with ongoing scrutiny of the circumstances surrounding Senzo Meyiwa’s tragic murder in 2014.
Picture: X / SABreakingNews
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