The ominous case of the bullet projectile found behind counter at Senzo Meyiwa murder crime scene

  • Five men are on trial for the murder of Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
  • The State’s second witness, a police officer who arrived at the scene first, testified that he searched the countertop in the kitchen but did not find any evidence. 
  • Previously, a forensic detective testified that he found a bullet projectile hidden behind glass jars on the same countertop.

A bullet projectile that was allegedly collected at the Vosloorus house where former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was shot, has again been scrutinised.

The Meyiwa murder trial continued in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday, where the State’s second witness, Sergeant Patrick Mlungisi Mthethwa was cross-examined.

Mthethwa, along with his colleague, a Sergeant Mathebula, were the first police officers to respond to the scene where Meyiwa had been shot on 26 October 2014.

Meyiwa was shot at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s home.

Advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents one of the five accused, questioned Mthethwa about whether he looked for evidence on the countertop in the kitchen.

Mthethwa previously testified that when he first responded to a complaint of a shooting in progress, he entered the house, but then left for the hospital as there was no one there who could inform him of what transpired.

During the quick walkthrough of the house, he noticed a hat on the kitchen floor and a single crutch.

On his second visit, he also found a bullet fragment on the floor in the kitchen.

PODCAST | The Story: Senzo Meyiwa murder trial back in court

Mthethwa said he had looked on the countertop but did not find anything.

Meanwhile, the State’s first witness Sergeant Thabo Mosia, the first forensic expert to arrive on the scene, previously testified that he had found a bullet projectile behind glass jars on the countertop.

Mosia testified that on his second visit to the scene, he and other investigators traced the trajectory of a bullet that went through the door and found the bullet projectile.

This projectile was not found during his first visit, which prompted questions and claims by the defence, that it had been planted at the crime scene.

Mosia said the bullet projectile was hidden behind the glass jars, which is why he missed it during his first combing of the scene.

During re-examination on Friday, Mthethwa said that while they were looking for evidence, they did not move anything around.

This appears to corroborate the assertion by Mosia that the glass jars had to be removed for the bullet projectile to be visible.

State prosecutor, advocate George Baloyi was also at pains to have Mthethwa point out on a crime scene photograph which area of the countertop he searched.

Mthethwa pointed towards an area with several pots.

There were no glass jars in the crime scene photograph used for the pointing out.

Securing of the scene

Earlier on Friday, Mthethwa testified that after arriving at the crime scene, the police officers were met by a man who identified himself as Themba.

Themba said he was the brother of Gladness Khumalo, Kelly’s mother.

Mthethwa said Themba did not know much about what happened, other than someone was shot and had since been rushed to hospital.

READ | High Court hears how cops left scene unsecured on day of murder

After a quick walkthrough of the house, Mthethwa said they went to the hospital and only there did they establish that the house was a crime scene.

Mthethwa and Mathebula then returned to the houses and cordoned the area off.

Mshololo pointed out that the police officers had left the crime scene, without making sure it was secured.

Mthethwa argued that at the time he did not know it was a crime scene, because Themba could not tell police whether the shooting happened in the house or outside in the yard.

Mshololo further asked how they left the crime scene in the hands of someone whose identity had not even been verified.

She put it to the witness, that they should have taken the house keys from Themba and locked it themselves.

Mthethwa conceded that he would not have known if Themba could have been the shooter and trusted that Themba was Gladness Khumalo’s brother merely because he had the house keys.

Mshololo then claimed that once Mthethwa and his colleague left the scene for the first time, people came into the house and cleaned the scene.

In her statement to police, Sylvia Happy Ngobeni claimed that she, Maggie Phiri and two other women went into the house to see what happened.

READ | Testimony of police officers reveals glaring contradictions

Phiri then allegedly started picking up empty beer cans.

Ngobeni said she asked Phiri why she was cleaning before the police arrived, to which Phiri responded that she did not want the police to see that people were drinking.

Mshololo suggested that this took place after Mthethwa left the scene for the first time.

This is because Ngobeni mentions that after leaving the house, she saw a contingency of police officers arrive at the house and subsequently cordoned off the scene.

However, Mthethwa testified that the same beer cans he saw during his first visit at the house, were still there when he returned.


News24 previously reported that a number of contradictions emerged between Mthethwa and Mosia’s statements.

These contradictions included who took Mosia through the crime scene as well as what time Mosia arrived at the house.

These disparities were also exacerbated by an affidavit by former Gauteng head of detectives, Brigadier Philani Ndlovu.

His affidavit also contradicted certain testimony by both Mosia and Mthethwa.

The trial is expected to continue on Monday.