Malesela Teffo, who abruptly left the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial more than two weeks ago, announced on Thursday that he will continue to represent four of the defendants.
Teffo declared his withdrawal from the case on July 12. He gave the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Judge Tshifiwa Maumela, and police harassment as his justifications.
Teffo, however, said on Thursday in a letter to the Pretoria High Court that the judge’s use of muthi against him was the primary factor in his decision to withdraw from the case.
“Judge Maumela started taking concoction in the form of a liquid, (he would) drink everytime the court was in session, to achieve the said goal of collapsing me inside court”.
“This is the main reason I decided to withdraw from the matter…. The sangoma was fortunately witnessed by all the parties when coming to consult with Judge Maumela in his chambers at the time we were with Judge Maumela,’’ Teffo said in his letter.
The case was moved until August 2 after Teffo announced his departure so that Teffo’s clients could find new counsel.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, and Mthokoziseni Maphisa are some of his clients.
Teffo also announced he wouldn’t be in court on August 2 but promised to show up again as soon as his requests are satisfied.
“We have terms and conditions we have to give the state before we could reconsider our stand in participating the criminal proceedings again….We are not going to attend the court proceedings together with our clients…unless the following conditions are complied with.”
The firing of Police Minister Bheki Cele was one of the strange demands Teffo made. He recommended Cele be fired and that any allegations of power abuse be looked further.
Additionally, he stated that the fifth defendant, Sifisokuhle Ntuli, and his attorney, advocate Zandile Mshololo, ought to be kept out of the trial.
He continued by saying that State prosecutor George Baloyi must be dismissed from the case and a replacement should be named.
He added that Judge Bert Bam or a retired judge must take Judge Maumela’s seat.
What will transpire when the case returns to court on August 2 is still uncertain