Defense lawyers want Ten10 Films excluded from Senzo Meyiwa trial – The UBJ – United Business Journal
The murder trial of Senzo Meyiwa is due to resume today. Five defendants have pleaded not guilty to all charges in the 2014 murder of former Orlando Pirates goaltender Senzo Meyiwa.
The final session culminated in the arrest and handcuffing of lawyers for four of the defendants directly inside the courtroom. Minutes before the court adjourned, lawyer Malesela Teffo informed the judge that they were receiving threats. In addition, a police officer whose name was mentioned several times during the cross-examination of witness number one has died.
The presence of Ten10 Films, which produced Senzo: Murder of a Football Star for Netflix, has caused concern among the legal representation of defendants 1-4 in the Senzo Meyiwa trial.
Following the dramatic arrest of defense lawyer Advocate Malesela Teffo in early May, it was postponed. The legal proceedings were also delayed due to a disagreement between the defense attorney and a representative from Ten10 Films.
Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star, created by Ten10 Films, was released on Netflix earlier this year. The court clerk granted permission to the production company, but Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela said permission was granted because the clerk believed Ten10 Films was a media house.
Ten10 Films attorney Winks argued that big media companies are businesses too. He went on to say that mainstream media were present during the Oscar Pistorius trial, including Carte Blanche, which also produces documentaries.
“Documentary makers are media. My client does not rely on blanket clearance from other media. My client submitted an application to the Registrar and it was approved.
“Why is my client being singled out and his constitutional rights, especially free speech, being restricted.”
There is a distinction between a media house and a production company, according to attorney Teffo, who is representing four of the defendants in the lawsuit. Ten10 Films is attending the legal proceedings, he claims, not for the public good, but for the benefit of their business.