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'He's off the case, no matter what he says': Attorney on Teffo in Meyiwa trial

"Jesus is my physician," Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela says as he brushes away advocate's unfounded witchcraft claims.
"Jesus is my physician," Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela says as he brushes away advocate's unfounded witchcraft claims.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The instructing attorney for four accused in the Senzo Meyiwa trial has distanced his clients from controversial advocate Malesela Teffo, while the judge has felt compelled to invoke his Christianity.

Teffo, who had withdrawn from the case and then, in a U-turn, announced he would be returning, was a no-show in court on Tuesday.

Attorney Timothy Thobane argued the matter was erroneously postponed because he is still on record for the accused despite Teffo's withdrawal. However, Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela disputed it was an error as Teffo had made no mention of Thobane continuing with the trial when he withdrew. “I didn’t read it as an error — Teffo said nothing about you when he withdrew,” the judge said.

I have a physician called Jesus and he needs no augmentation

Maumela addressed utterances made by Teffo in a letter addressed to the director of public prosecutions for the North Gauteng High Court. Teffo made a number of accusations against the lawyers involved in the trial including an allegation that a sangoma had been invoked against him.

Maumela refuted this, saying his “physician” is Jesus.

“There are times when I am getting communications about this case and I am getting to learn about the communications, sometimes on billboards, which inform you sometimes what is next to happen. In those communications, there are many issues. Some of them are very interesting, they are even about one’s faith, where you base your faith as so forth.

“Some of us have a physician and a matter of my physician is not the problem of anybody but because of what is happening one needs to say out loud: I have a physician called Jesus and he needs no augmentation. Even before I came here I consulted my physician, when I leave here I will reconsult my physician and it's nobody's business. I needed to say that,” the judge said.

Thobane clarified that whatever Teffo said was not under his instruction as the instructing attorney.

He said of Teffo: “The advocate who was appearing in this matter has withdrawn. When he spoke it was not part of the instruction. He is not part of this matter any more. Whatever he says, he says it out of his [own] mind,” Thobane said.

He repeated the statement outside the court. “Teffo withdrew from the matter. He is not part of this matter as it stands now.”

The case was postponed to September 5.

Thobane said he intends to bring an application for bail for accused number two, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi. Previously, Teffo had alleged that Ntanzi was one of two of his clients who had been forced into making confessions.

Meyiwa, a former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, was fatally shot in October 2014 in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg. The five accused are Ntanzi, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli.

TimesLIVE


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