Bongani Ntanzi’s evidence on Friday focused on his former legal representative.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has heard that Bongani Ntanzi, one of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case, dismissed another lawyer who purportedly had been sent by his previous legal representative.

On Friday, Ntanzi continued with his evidence-in-chief, led by the defence, after taking the witness stand earlier this week.

The court is currently hearing evidence in a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of confession statements and pointing out and warning statements by the accused.

‘I terminated his mandate’

Ntanzi’s evidence on Friday went into sharp focus on his former legal representative, Dominic Ntokozo Mjiyako.

The court previously heard that Ntanzi was represented by Mjiyako when he allegedly made a confession statement before Magistrate Vivian Cronje on 24 June, 2020.

His first confession statement was taken down by Colonel Moholo Solomon Raphadu on 19 June, 2020.

Mjiyako also appeared with the accused when he appeared in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on 27 October, 2020, in connection with Meyiwa’s murder for the first time.

The defence has, however, claimed Mjiyako had no mandate to represent Ntanzi as the accused did not know the legal practitioner.

ALSO READ: Senzo Meyiwa trial: Suspect wanted plea bargain to testify against co-accused, court told

Narrating his story to the court, Ntanzi revealed that he first met Mjiyako, who allegedly told the accused that he was there to assist him, on 24 June.

The accused denied that he consulted with the lawyer at a police station in Pretoria, where he was detained, a day before the alleged confession was made.

“I never met Mjiyako on the 23rd,” Ntanzi said.

He had earlier told the court that he had terminated the lawyer’s mandate.

“I never sat down with this person. And even in court, when I terminated his mandate, I informed the court that this person doesn’t come and visit,” the accused testified.

Watch the trial below:

Ntanzi claimed that he had not called anyone, including his family, about needing a lawyer because they did not know that he had been arrested.

“My family got to know about my arrest on the 13th of July, and they were informed by [Jack] Buthelezi. It was on the day I managed to get some clothes to change as well as some toiletries [because] from the 16th June up until 13th of July I hadn’t taken a bath.”

RELATED: Senzo Meyiwa’s murder ‘a hit not robbery gone wrong’

According to the transcripts and the audio recordings of the proceedings, Mjiyako represented Ntanzi when he appeared in court again on 27 November, 2020.

Mjiyako withdrew his services on 3 March, 2021, two days before Ntanzi returned to court, because he was not paid for his services.

But Ntanzi has alleged he fired Mjiyako because the lawyer allegedly told him to enter a plea of guilt for Meyiwa’s murder.

Another lawyer fired

On Friday, the High Court in Pretoria heard that Ntanzi had another lawyer, named Tjia, when he appeared in court on 22 January, 2021, who withdrew her services as well on the day.

Defence attorney Sipho Ramosepele indicated that court records showed that Ntanzi had opted for legal aid in his next appearance scheduled for 2 February, 2021.

“She did not withdraw. I am the one that terminated her mandate,” the accused replied.

Ntanzi testified that Tjia was sent by Mjiyako when asked whether he knew the legal firm the lawyer came from.

“She mentioned it in court,” he continued.

READ MORE: Senzo Meyiwa murder accused’s former lawyer told suspect to plead guilty, court hears

The accused further told the court on Friday that he terminated Mjiyako’s mandate because the lawyer approached him with a R3 million deal with the police.

This was previously denied by lead investigator Brigadier Bongani Gininda, who testified in court that Ntanzi was not offered money in exchange for confessing about Meyiwa’s killing.

Ntanzi is one of five men on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.

He has already been pointed out by at least two witnesses as one of the armed intruders who entered the Khumalo household in Vosloorus on 26 October, 2014, the day the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was killed.

The suspect and his co-accused have pleaded not guilty to their charges.


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