In the ongoing Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, an incident of heightened tension between witness Zandi Khumalo and defense lawyer Zithulele Nxumalo prompted Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng to intervene with a firm address at the Pretoria High Court. On Tuesday morning, the judge urged both parties to maintain respect and dignity while addressing one another during the proceedings.
The exchange occurred during Khumalo’s testimony, as she lost her composure and accused Nxumalo of adopting a harsh tone. Although the court intervened at that moment, Judge Mokgoatlheng took the opportunity before cross-examination resumed to address the underlying tensions. He emphasized the importance of maintaining decorum and respect, particularly in a case that is televised, like the current trial of Senzo Meyiwa.
In his address, the judge reminded all present that there is no room for unnecessary animosity and that the dignity of the court should be upheld at all times. As adults engaged in a legal process, he urged both counsel and witnesses to approach each other with a sense of maturity and understanding, fostering a more constructive and respectful environment throughout the trial.