Kelly Khumalo centred during Senzo Meyiwa murder trial again - it's not the first time

In better times, Senzo Meyiwa and his lover Kelly Khumalo, along with Zandile Khumalo, pose for a picture. File Picture

In better times, Senzo Meyiwa and his lover Kelly Khumalo, along with Zandile Khumalo, pose for a picture. File Picture

Published Jan 25, 2024


Songbird Kelly Khumalo has been implicated by two of the Senzo Meyiwa murder accused as the one who ordered the hit on the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper.

This was revealed by Investigating Officer Brigadier Bongani Gininda in the High Court in Pretoria this week, who said the revelations were made by two of the accused - Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya and Bongani Ntanzi.

Gininda was relying on confessions made by the accused.

The confessions are currently the subject of a marathon trial-within-a-trial to determine whether the confessions were made freely and voluntarily.

Five men - Sibiya, Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are standing trial for the October 2014 murder of Meyiwa, who was gunned down at the Vosloorus home of his lover, Khumalo.

Police initially believed the Meyiwa murder was a robbery gone wrong, but investigations later led them to believe the former captain of the national soccer team, was gunned down in a contract killing.

It is believed R250,000 had initially been agreed for the hit, but only R45,000 was paid in cash.

Gininda also told the court that the police found the same photo of a bag containing cash, as they did on the cellphone of Mncube.

The cellphone picture on Mncube’s phone was found on his phone when his cell phone was downloaded during his 2015 arrest for an unrelated charge.

It was also found on Khumalo's phone, Gininda told the court.

The revelations implicating Khumalo, made before Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng in the Pretoria court, were not the first time her name has surfaced during the trial.

We revisit the other occasions in which Khumalo has been cited during the case.

– Not my witness

State advocate George Baloyi has told the court on more than one occasion that he would not be calling Kelly Khumalo to the witness stand.

Kelly Khumalo was not part of the State’s witness list, Baloyi told the court in July last year when the trial began anew.

Baloyi has already called Kelly's sister, Zandile Khumalo, Meyiwa’s friends Tumelo Madlala and Mthokozisi Thwala, who testified on the case.

Zandile, Madlala and Thwala, were also in the Vosloorus house when Meyiwa was gunned down.

– Cellphone

The SA Police Service’s Colonel Lambertus Steyn, who is an analyst at the Cold Case Unit, told the court in July that cellphone records showed Kelly Khumalo and accused five, Ntuli, were in contact on October 15, 2014, at 5.33pm in a 98 second phone call.

They were also in contact on Kelly Khumalo's 082 704 **** number on August 2, 2014, at 10.40pm, for 110 seconds.

Steyn told the court she had received both calls in Kimberley and rural Limpopo, cellphone records showed. Ntuli had used his 073 305 **** number to make the calls.

Steyn found eight cellphone and landline numbers linked to Kelly Khumalo and that her 082 704 **** number, which had been in contact with Ntuli, was also registered in her name on TrueCaller and on RICA.

– Text Messages

During testimony by Zandile Khumalo, Kelly’s sister, text messages sent a year before the Meyiwa murder appeared to show her complaining about the footballer.

“I regret everything, I wish I didn’t allow Senzo into my life look at all the mess it has gotten us into. It’s all his lies now affecting all of us,” read the message sent to her sister Zandile.

The sister told the court Meyiwa was not an honest man as he lied both to Kelly and his wife, Mandisa Mkhize.

“He would be with Kelly and at times he would be with Mandisa and when he was with Kelly, he would say this and when he was with Mandisa, he would say something else, I think that’s what she was referring to.”

Another message read: “I’m emotionally drained. I sometimes feel like Senzo brought a dark cloud in my life. And I can almost hate myself for not succeeding in getting rid of him via sms and the sms would not go....I feel like God is deliberately sabotaging me by keeping this man in my life”.

Zandile said she knew of the love triangle and said Kelly and Meyiwa loved each other.

– Gininda

Gininda said confessions made by both Sibiya and Ntanzi implicated Khumalo in the murder of Meyiwa.

According to the confessions, Sibiya boasted that he had been involved in the Meyiwa murder.

Speaking on the SMSes sent between the Khumalo sisters, Gininda said: “It is abundantly clear that she hated him (Meyiwa) and wanted to get rid of him. She further states that she regrets not getting rid of him before.

“Taking that into account, inferences can be drawn that she meant killing him. Furthermore, after the incident she called a number of people but no calls were made to emergency services.”

– Mastermind

AfriForum legal head, Advocate Gerrie Nel, who is representing the Meyiwa family, told the media two years ago that there was a mastermind who had not been arrested in relation with the Meyiwa murder.

“I am convinced that we have the correct people in court, but I would have expected more arrests. I would have expected other people to be with them because I have said it all along. I do not believe that this was a robbery that went wrong,” Nel told journalists.

“There is something more than that. If that is true, one would have expected other people to be here. Having said that, we have people before court – that’s a strategy of the prosecution service,” he said.

“As far as I am concerned, the police have a very good idea of who the mastermind is, and I am sure that if the mastermind is not added to the indictment, there will be other indictments in the future.”

Nel did not name the alleged mastermind.

– NPA Memo

In October 2020, on the day the five Meyiwa murder accused first appeared in court for the murder of the footballer, the National Prosecuting Authority erroneously sent an internal memo to a media group which placed Kelly Khumalo at the centre of the Meyiwa murder trial.

It was later deleted and an apology was issued, but the memo showed Gininda instructing other officers to outline at least 10 tasks linked with the Meyiwa murder investigation, of which two of the items on the document concern the musician.

Gininda requested statements or affidavits relating to how the police obtained confessions from two people - seemingly Sibiya and Ntanzi.

The memo also requested cell phone communication between the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime, cell tower locations and the automatic vehicle locations of a VW Polo believed to have been used as an escape car during the Meyiwa murder in Vosloorus.

Pertaining to Khumalo, the document requests for the singer’s cell phone records and more information about a particular loan that she may have taken around the time of the murder.

The trial within a trial continues.

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