Zandile Khumalo, a witness in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa pleading for a speedier trial. Nine years after the murder of the star footballer, those affected are still striving to find closure.
Khumalo’s Letter to the President
In her letter, Khumalo wrote, “My biggest wish would be to try to bring a bit of pace to the proceedings of this case.” She shared the contents of the letter in an Instagram post and stated that it was sent on Wednesday morning to Ramaphosa and copied to the office of the chief justice.
Khumalo requested that one court be earmarked specifically for this case, a specific law team be appointed to deal with nothing else but this case, and this case be in court from Monday to Friday until it is concluded and a verdict has been given. She stated that all critical and required evidence has been collected and analyzed, so it is time for the court to run its course uninterrupted.
Khumalo’s Frustration with Delays
Khumalo expressed her frustration with the postponements, delays, and breaks in the trial. She wrote, “Mr President, I think I speak for almost everyone when I say the postponements, delays and breaks have been more than enough and it is time we do away with them.”
Speculation about Retired Judge Taking Over Case
There is speculation that the office of the chief justice is considering bringing in retired judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng to take over the case. If this occurs, the trial may need to hear the testimony given so far again.
Khumalo’s Experience on the Witness Stand
Khumalo wrote about her experience on the witness stand. She stated, “I have been on that stand Mr President and it is not a nice place to be. But I would do it again, with emotions running high, for however many days if it means solving this case quicker.”
Background on Senzo Meyiwa Murder Trial
Five men were arrested in October 2020 and have been on trial in the Pretoria high court in connection with the Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper’s murder since April 2022. The trial was postponed last month to July 17 due to presiding judge Tshifhiwa Maumela being unavailable due to ill health.
Khumalo’s Appeal for Serious Prioritization of Trial
Khumalo asked the president and chief justice’s office to action a “serious prioritization” of the trial. She wrote about how her family has done everything in its power to assist law officials in solving this case. She stated that they will continue to avail themselves and assist where they can.
Khumalo’s Hope for Accelerated Trial
Khumalo said that though her request for an accelerated trial might not be the normal or traditional way of doing things, she believed it would help people affected by the case. There is also great public interest in this case.
so putting measures in place to ensure the case moves at a much faster pace wouldn’t be a bad thing for everyone involved”.
“I have been on that stand Mr President and it is not a nice place to be. But I would do it again — with emotions running high — for however many days if it means solving this case quicker.
“It is a traumatic experience to relive that day in front of the whole country, but what choice do I have? I, like many South Africans, would like to see justice for Senzo.”
Asked if Khumalo’s letter had been received, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the Presidency does not direct or manage court operations, “nor do we comment on matters before the courts”.