South Africa

Senzo Meyiwa trial: Accused’s gun was stolen during cash-in-transit robbery, court hears

More details emerged about the gun retrieved from one of the accused in the murder trial of former Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.

The trial resumed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday, with Pieter Jakobus Smuts taking the stand as a new state witness.

Smuts briefly testified about the firearm confiscated from accused number three, Mthobisi Mncube.

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The gun in question was found in a room Mncube rented in Malvern, Johannesburg, when he was arrested in connection to the murder of an Alexandra taxi boss in February 2015.

It was previously heard in court that the same gun was linked to both the Alexandra case and Meyiwa’s murder.

A ballistics expert testified last week that the bullet found at the Meyiwa crime scene in Vosloorus family home of his then-girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, in October 2014 was fired from Mncube’s 9mm parabellum pistol.

Cash-in-transit robbery

On Monday, Smuts, who has worked for security and cash-in-transit company SBV Services for 24 years, revealed that Mncube’s handgun belonged to his employers.

Smuts showed the original firearm licence, which was issued by the South African Police Service (Saps), in court.

The witness highlighted that the barrel number was the same as the pistol’s serial number.

He explained that the gun was stolen during the cash-in-transit robbery at the Rabie Ridge Shopping Centre in May 2013.

READ MORE: Expert says crime scene bullet came from accused’s gun, Senzo Meyiwa shot at close range

“The security guards carry firearms with them to protect themselves against any attacks. What happened during this incident was that the firearms were removed from the SBV employees so that they could not defend themselves. If an employee is disarmed it is then easy to take the cash,” he said.

Smuts said immediately after the firearm was stolen, the matter was reported to the police in Rabie Ridge.

“After we have informed the police, there’s a documentation that we completed to notify the Saps of the stolen or lost firearm. [Later], the firearm was indeed circulated on the South African Police firearm system as stolen.”

He produced the case docket in court as proof of the incident.

Watch the court proceedings below:

‘Firearm can be destroyed’

Smuts also indicated that SBV was not notified that the firearm was recovered following Mncube’s arrest.

He told the court that he submitted an affidavit to the police in November 2020 that the gun belonged to his company.

The witness said a firearm has to be returned to the rightful owners at the end of the court processes after it was recovered.

He added that the gun’s serial number would once again be engraved on the firearm by a gunsmith if it was obliterated.

RELATED: ‘Gun photos could have been from Google’: Defence lawyer in Senzo Meyiwa trial

Smuts, however, pointed out that the firearm can be destroyed if it was no longer in a good condition.

“If the firearm is in a bad state… it’s not usable then we ask the police to destroy it on our behalf.”

Five men including – Mncube, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, Fisokuhle Ntuli and  Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya – are on trial for Meyiwa’s murder.

The suspects have pleaded not guilty.

They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and possession of ammunition.