Was Malesela Teffo telling the truth when he said his arrest warrant was bogus and he had no knowledge of the court date he had missed?
Teffo was detained on Thursday afternoon at the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where he is representing four of the men accused of murdering Bafana Bafana goalie Senzo Meyiwa.
After the Meyiwa murder trial was postponed, he was handcuffed and transferred to the court’s holding cells. The arrest took place in front of the reporters.
After Teffo allegedly failed to appear in court for a different matter in which he is a defendant, the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court issued an arrest order.
After he reportedly failed to appear in court for an assault case, the warrant was issued, signed, and stamped on January 27, 2022.
The warrant was then postponed until February 10, 2022, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Teffo, on the other hand, did not appear in court on that occasion.
Teffo informed the media after his detention that he had a warrant of arrest cancelled on December 28, 2021, and had no idea he was expected to appear in court on January 27, 2022.
He said that he was detained and charged with trespassing in 2020, but that the charge was dropped when he made representations.
“This arrest stems from Bheki Cele’s [minister of police] and the national commissioner’s concerns regarding my role in the Senzo Meyiwa case. They already know what’s going to happen to them “In a voice message, Teffo informed the SABC.
He also informed SAFM that the arrest warrant used on Thursday was a forgery, and that he had one revoked in 2021.
Teffo appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Teffo’s lawyer, TT Thobane, first informed the court that Teffo was unaware of the court date, which is why he didn’t show up on January 27.
After speaking with Teffo, he revised his tale, claiming that his client had not shown up because he was suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.
The magistrate stated that he was the presiding officer when the postponement of the 27th of January was made in front of Teffo and his lawyer.
Teffo’s counsel did not object to this remark, despite Teffo informing the SABC that he was unaware of the court date.
He clearly did not keep to his story that he was unaware of the court date, instead instructing his counsel that he failed to show because he was suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, implying that he was well aware of the date all along.
The judge noticed neither Teffo nor his counsel told the court about him being unable to appear owing to presenting with Covid-19 symptoms.
Thobane also testified in court. Teffo did not appear in court on February 10 because the investigating officer allegedly sent him and his lawyer to the Johannesburg Regional Court.
Teffo was released on R10,000 bond.
Furthermore, despite his claims on the eve of his detention that the arrest warrant was bogus, it was not contested or challenged in court the next day.
It is reasonable to assume that if the arrest warrant had been fake, Teffo, as an attorney, would have disputed its legitimacy in court rather than accepting that he had been legitimately arrested and brought to court.
His assertion that a warrant for his arrest was cancelled on December 28, 2021 is correct, but the way he presented it to the public may have been deceptive, as the warrant he was arrested on Thursday had nothing to do with the earlier warrant.
According to the NPA, a warrant of arrest was issued on November 24, but it was not served until December 28, when Teffo appeared in court.
Teffo was also aware that the latest arrest warrant had been obtained when he called the investigating officer, according to police. Police have proof in this respect, but have not made it public, according to them.
He also told media outlets that he had been arrested on a trespassing allegation, but that the prosecution had been dropped after legal arguments.
Teffo appears to have merely told the media half of the tale. True, his representations on the trespassing allegation were effective, and the charge was later dropped. However, he remains charged with assault, which the NPA stated had not been dropped.
Teffo was arrested, according to police, for allegedly assaulting a female officer and entering a police station in Gauteng despite a high court order preventing him from doing so.
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