JOHANNESBURG - A standoff has broken out between the judge presiding over the Senzo Meyiwa trial and one of the defence lawyers.
The court is hearing a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of confession statements by two of the five men accused of the footballer’s murder.
The men have denied making the confessions, saying they were beaten and coerced into signing already written statements.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng: "I have been on the bench for 20 years, I have practised as an attorney for 30. I have never been accused of being a crook."
Advocate Zandile Mshololo: "I am also an advocate, I have a right to stand up and defend the accused."
It all started when State prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda and the first accused Muzi Sibiya could not agree on when exactly he was charged for the murder of Meyiwa after his arrest in May 2020.
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Sibiya requested Advocate Sibanda to produce a statement with his fingerprints - which should show the date he was charged.
This prompted Sibanda to produce an arresting statement that Judge Mokgoatlheng read in court.
Mshololo then objected to Sibiya being cross-examined on this statement.
Mshololo: "I object on the basis of fairness my lord, the witness cannot be cross-examined on a statement he knows nothing about."
Judge Mokgoatlheng: "Don’t accuse me of being a crook I have been in this profession for 50 years."
Sibanda wrapped up his cross-examination of Sibiya.