JOHANNESBURG – Controversial lawyer Advocate Malesela Teffo has given witchcraft as a new reason for his withdrawal from the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.
In another twist in the case, Teffo announced his return to the trial as the legal representative for accused 1 to 4 on Thursday.
In a surprise move earlier this month, Teffo announced to the Pretoria High Court that he would be withdrawing from the case – citing harassment from the state and the courts.
He said his initial withdrawal issue was resolved with the relevant stakeholders adding that he would continue as the legal representative for accused 1 to 4. The latest move by Teffo is unexpected but it is nothing new to the trial.
In a letter to state Advocate George Baloyi, Teffo made a series of allegations against his fellow lawyers in the trial and the presiding Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela.
Teffo claimed to have started having nightmares after Judge Maumela allegedly brought his sangoma to court. He also claimed to have been informed that the involvement of the sangoma was to cause him to collapse inside the courtroom.
According to Teffo, Maumela started drinking a concoction inside court – which was also part of the supposed witchcraft. He further held that the sangoma was witnessed by all parties when he was in court.
The matter will return to court on Tuesday, and even though he claimed not to have been informed, Teffo said he would be in court.
Meanwhile, Teffo has made fresh demands as he stages a dramatic return to the Senzo Meyiwa trial including wanting his clients to be tried separately from the fifth accused.
In a letter, Teffo informs state Advocate George Baloyi of his decision to return as the legal representative for four of the accused. Five men are standing trial for the 2014 murder of the Bafana Bafana captain.
Earlier this month Teffo dropped a bombshell in the Pretoria High Court when he announced his withdrawal from the matter citing harassment from the courts and the state. He said those issues were resolved.
Making extraordinary claims have been a constant in Teffo’s defence in the Senzo Meyiwa trial. In his latest letter, Teffo has accused Advocate Zandile Mshololo – who is the lawyer for the fifth accused – of approaching taxi bosses in Durban to pay her so she can represent the first four accused as well.
He now wants Mshololo’s client, Fisokuhle Ntuli to be tried separately. Teffo also wants the presiding Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela – who he has accused of witchcraft – to recuse himself and for acting Judge Bert Bam to preside over the matter.
Teffo also wants Police Minister Bheki Cele to be dismissed and for the accused in the second docket to be charged, arrested and tried for Senzo Meyiwa’s murder.