PRETORIA. – A gun allegedly linked to the murder of former Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa might not have been sealed when it was kept at the police station, leading the defence to purport that it might have been swapped.
State witness Captain Bonginkosi Mtshali, who was an exhibit manager attached to the Cleveland police station, testified on Friday in the North Gauteng High Court here.
He said the gun was sealed and kept safe in the storage and he wouldn’t accept it if it came to the storage unit unsealed.
He added that even the department that performs ballistics wouldn’t have performed any tests on the gun if the exhibit bag came to them opened.
“It will never happen; they will definitely send back the gun and won’t perform any ballistics if the exhibit bag comes to them not sealed,” he said.
Mtshali added that even when a gun returns from ballistics, it is always sealed tightly in an exhibit bag.
The gun in question was found in the possession of accused number three, Mthobisi Mncube.
The gun found in his possession was also found to have been used in the murder of a taxi boss, Reggie Mohlala, in January 2015, three months after the soccer star died.
Mncube is already serving more than 30 years for Mohlala’s murder.
Mncube is one of five men who have been arrested for shooting Meyiwa in October 2014.
Mtshali said the gun was almost destroyed in 2017, but there were delays caused by the filling out of forms and logistics.
As a result, the gun was kept in storage from 2015 until 2020.
During 2015, the gun was booked out several times by different police officers, and it was not booked out again for over four years.
During cross-examination by advocate Charles Mnisi, who represents Mncube, he said in 2020, the gun was booked out by Captain Christian Mangena for further ballistics, and according to his statement, the gun was not sealed.
Mnisi put it to Mtshali that there were chances that the gun might have been exchanged while it was stored at Cleveland police station.
“I will not comment on that,” Mtshali responded.
Advocate Zandile Mshololo, who represents accused number five, Fisokuhle Ntuli, asked Mtshali how it was possible for Mangena to take an unsealed gun and have it tested for ballistics.
Mtshali was adamant that when he handed the exhibit bag to Mangena, it was sealed.
“He must come and explain what he means that he received it in an unsealed bag,” he said.
Mshololo asked Mtshali whether he was certain that over the five years while the gun was in storage, it was kept in a sealed bag.
Mtshali said he won’t comment on that because there was a time when he didn’t work at the storage.