Kelly Khumalo was in contact with one of the murder accused in Senzo Meyiwa case, specialist cop tells court

Singer and socialite Kelly Khumalo was in a relationship with Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa at the time of his murder. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Singer and socialite Kelly Khumalo was in a relationship with Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa at the time of his murder. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jul 27, 2023


A specialist police officer with extensive analytical experience in analysing cellphone data has told the Gauteng North High Court, Pretoria, that call records showed Kelly Khumalo had been in contact by phone, with one of the men accused of murdering Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.

Colonel Lambertus Steyn, who is an analyst at the SAPS Cold Case Unit, took the witness stand after lunch time at the Meyiwa murder trial on Thursday.

Steyn has extensive experience in telephone analytics, he told the court.

Steyn, a career policeman with over 41 years of experience, told the court he had extensive experience in analysing, including various short course certificates and a BTech in Policing from Unisa specialising in police investigations and administration, which he passed with distinction.

He told the court that in April 2020, he had received cellphone downloads and a Section 205 in CDs from investigating officer Brigadier Bongani Gininda. A Section 205 allows police to obtain cellphone records from a telecommunications service provider through a subpoena or court order.

He was instructed to profile the targets, which were the five accused and the people who were in the house when Meyiwa was murdered to find out if any of them.

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

The people who were in the house that day were Meyiwa, 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.

Steyn told the court that they had established at least two phone calls between Kelly Khumalo and accused five, Ntuli.

The calls were made on August 2, 2014, and October 15, 2014.

Steyn also found that Kelly Khumalo's phone had been rebooted at 1:31 am, just hours after Meyiwa was shot dead.

“That can mean the owner of the phone did delete everything on the phone or some of the information, because it's a smartphone.

“You can do it via the internet where you've got access to your own information and delete some of the information. It is not necessary for you to have the phone in your hand in your possession,” he said, adding that he did not know when police seized the phone for their investigations.

He said there were no calls made on her phone on the night Meyiwa died.

“When you go further on this phone, no calls were made to the police on the day of the murder,” said Steyn.

Steyn said the communication between Kelly Khumalo, from her 082 704 **** cellphone number, and accused 5, Ntuli, from his 073 305 ****, was made.

He said on August 2, 2014, at 22:40, Kelly Khumalo received a call from Ntuli that lasted 110 seconds. She had been in Kimberley when this happened.

The next call between the two lasted 98 seconds on October 15, 2014, where it pinged on a 2G tower while Kelly Khumalo was in rural Limpopo.

Steyn told the court they had cellphone data for all the cellphones that were in the house when Meyiwa was murdered, except for one cellphone, which was stolen during the murder.

Steyn explained to the court that he used XDS expert decision database, eNATIS, TrueCaller, Rica, the police data administration system, and data from credit bureaus to verify the cellphone numbers of the accused and the people who were in the house.

Pertaining to Kelly Khumalo, he found at least eight cellphone and landline numbers that were linked to her between 2012 and 2017.

The 082 704 **** number, which had been in contact with Ntuli, was also registered in her name on TrueCaller and on Rica.

“Just to take note, no calls were made from this phone on 2014/10/26 from 2 pm to 23:41, the day of the crime (Meyiwa murder).

“On the next day, no calls were made. It is possible at that time the phone was in the possession of the police,” said Steyn.

Earlier on Thursday, the court heard from a neighbour, Nthabiseng Mokete, who testified that the Khumalos, along with Meyiwa’s friends, Thwala and Madlala, had been weeping uncontrollably when he was declared dead at the hospital. Mokete told the court he heard a third gunshot after she saw three men running down the street, into a nearby park.

The trial continues on Friday.

Meanwhile, in August 2020, a City Press report alleged that police officers believed that a hit man was involved in the alleged premeditated murder of Meyiwa and that the musician Kelly Khumalo had hired hitmen to allegedly assassinate the footballer.

It said R250,000 had been wagered on the hit, but the full amount was never paid, with one hit man saying he was paid R45,000 in cash.

It claimed the motive for the killing centred around Meyiwa reneging on a promise to marry Kelly Khumalo..