A Boksburg magistrate, Vivian Cronje, took the stand at the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. The trial is currently in the process of determining the admissibility of confessions made by the accused.
Accused number two, Bongani Ntanzi confessed to the murder of footballer Senzo Meyiwa. According to Magistrate Cronje, Ntanzi complained of not bathing for eight days but appeared calm and relaxed during the confession.
The confession was administered by Magistrate Cronje in June 2020, in the presence of Ntanzi’s lawyer. The court heard that Ntanzi had been arrested on June 16, 2020, and had not appeared in court or taken a bath before making the confession on June 24, 2020.
The circumstances surrounding the confession
Magistrate Cronje revealed that there was a large group of armed Ekurhuleni Metro Police present when Ntanzi came to make his confession at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court. She insisted on obtaining a list of all the officers involved and attaching their names to the confession, much to the irritation of the police.
State advocate George Baloyi informed the court that there is an audio recording of Ntanzi’s confession, which will be played to the defence attorneys. Magistrate Cronje, who has been a magistrate since July 1996, stated that she has administered approximately 50 confessions throughout her career.
Ntanzi’s account of the events
During the confession, Ntanzi recounted how the police contacted him and asked if he knew about Senzo Meyiwa’s death. He claimed that he was arrested on June 16, 2020, and was unaware of the events surrounding the murder. Ntanzi expressed confusion about when he was supposed to appear in court and stated that he called his attorney to inform him of his intention to attend court.
Magistrate Cronje reminded Ntanzi of his right to remain silent and informed him that he was under no obligation to incriminate himself. She recorded the confession for her own records, and the three-hour-long recording will be viewed by the defence attorneys overnight.
The trial continues
The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial has garnered significant public attention since the arrest of the five accused individuals, including Ntanzi. The court will now proceed with the trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of the confessions made by Ntanzi and the other accused, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya.