The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria decided on Thursday that media outlets can attend and broadcast the voice of Zandi Khumalo, who was only named as witness number one in the current Senzo Meyiwa murder prosecution.

Shortly thereafter, Zandi, singer Kelly Khumalo’s sister, entered the witness stand and began testifying.

Like with prior witnesses, the court has decided that visual images of the witness should not be disseminated.

“Whereas a broadcast of visual images of her testimony may bring unforeseen, detrimental repercussions to bear on her, the court finds that there is no evidence establishing that an audio broadcast of her evidence may do the same,” Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela declared in court.

Taking into account all relevant factors, “The court concludes that witness number one did not present sufficient reasons to support an injunction prohibiting both visual and audio broadcast of her evidence,” Maumela stated.

“At the same time, there is no need to subject witness number one to an environment during her testimony that equates to that which prevailed when the State’s previous two witnesses, three and four, gave evidence.”

Tumelo Madlala and Mthokozisi Twala, Meyiwa’s pals, were the prior two witnesses.

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“As a consequence,” the judge declared, “the court issues the following order: live transmission of the picture of the witness, that is witness number one, will not be authorised.”

“Members of the electronic media are authorised to live broadcast witness number one’s evidence through audio.” The restriction against photographing witness number one while she is testifying will stay in effect until the matter is resolved.”

Previously, State prosecutor advocate George Baloyi mentioned safety and comfort concerns expressed by the witness if the hearings were held live.

On Wednesday, Baloyi stated that a live broadcast of proceedings has its own drawbacks and could not be used as a substitute for open justice.

Baloyi denied accusations that the witness was included in a Netflix documentary about Meyiwa’s murder. He did, however, agree that she gave an interview with eNCA.

Five men have been charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and possession of ammunition. They are Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa, and Sifokuhle Ntuli.

They have all entered not guilty pleas.

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By J Times

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