Kelly Khumalo told to focus on Senzo Meyiwa murder trial as festival organisers show her red card after fans uproar

Slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa and his girlfriend, singer and actress Kelly Khumalo.

Slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa and his girlfriend, singer and actress Kelly Khumalo.

Published Aug 1, 2023


Following the announcement that Kelly Khumalo has been dropped from a musical lineup in Johannesburg, fans have called on organisers to replace the Ngathwala Ngaye singer with artists such as Ami Faku, Nomfundo Moh or Nathi Mankayi.

Kelly Khumalo was dropped from the Magula Productions organised Tribute to Women concert following calls on social media after she was placed at the centre of the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial last week.

The festival is set to take place at the Emmarentia Botanical Gardens, Johannesburg, in about two weeks time as the country commemorates Women's Month in August.

“We have noted, with concern, various comments on social media platforms and calls from many patrons of our festival,” said the organisers in a short statement on Facebook.

“We respect the legal processes and wish to indicate that Ms Kelly Khumalo is innocent until proven otherwise,” the statement read.

“However, in the interest of safeguarding our festival, management has taken the decision to relieve Ms Kelly Khumalo of her obligations to perform at our festival this year to afford her and her team the time they require to deal with the issues emanating from the current court proceedings.”

IOL approached Kelly Khumalo’s management, who said the festival organisers were exercising their prerogative.

At the time of writing, there were 101 reactions to the note, with 24 sending a red heart, 29 with a teary sad emoji, two shocked wow emojis, three hug reactions and 44 likes.

“Thank you for respecting our concerns. We will miss her sterling performance but as a country we need justice,” said one fan.

“I bought the ticket specifically for Kelly... OMG. I love Kelly. I'm so hurt,” said another.

“Please replace her with Ami Faku or Nomfundo Moh,” said another.

“Tribute to women banishing another woman before court can prove whether she's innocent or guilty. Change your name,” said another.

“The only performance I was uncomfortable about. I hope we get replacement no hard feelings but justice must take it's course,” another said.

“Please replace her with Nathi Mankayi or The Soil.

Last week, while testifying at the Gauteng North High Court, police data expert Colonel Lambertus Steyn, said cellphone numbers belonging to Khumalo had been in contact with at least two of the five murder accused in Meyiwa's murder.

The court heard how cellphone records from Khumalo's numbers found that she has been in contact, twice, with accused 5, Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli.

The court also heard how Khumalo's phone was apparently wiped clean, around 1am, just hours after her lover, Meyiwa, was gunned down at her home.

The court also heard that none of the people in the house called the police after Meyiwa was shot by alleged gunmen.

Kelly and her younger sister, Zandile, their mother Ntombi Khumalo (MaKhumalo), Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends, Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, Kelly’s then 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, her daughter with Meyiwa.

The court also heard last week from State prosecutor Advocate George Baloyi that they did not intend to call her as a witness.

The five accused are Muzikawukhulelwa Sthemba Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Ncube, Mthokoziseni Ziphozonke Maphisa, and Fisokuhle Nkani Ntuli.

They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.