Johannesburg - “I saw him die in my arms. His lips turned blue, and he took a deep breath. It was not easy watching the man you love die.”
Kelly Khumalo is distraught and destroyed, mourning the loss of her boyfriend. She has spoken to no one except her trusted friend and biographer Melinda Ferguson.
On Tuesday night, she poured her heart out to the writer about the horror on Sunday night when armed men stormed her house, shooting her football star boyfriend Senzo Meyiwa.
All the men took was a cellphone. All it took was a single shot fired at Meyiwa, the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates soccer star. He died en route to hospital.
“I have never seen a person so distressed like her. Every piece of her was broken,” Ferguson told The Star on Wednesday after her visit to the singer’s Mulbarton, Joburg, townhouse.
Meyiwa was visiting Khumalo, the mother of one of his three daughters, at her mother’s Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, home.
Ferguson, who visited Khumalo to comfort her, said Meyiwa had gone out on Sunday to support the singer at one of her performances.
“They spent the day together. Later, they went to Vosloorus, and according to her (Khumalo), Senzo wanted them to spend the night there (at her mother’s house). They were with Senzo’s friends at the time. These people were just having fun. She said Senzo wanted to be at her home, where she had grown up. But Kelly says she insisted that they leave,” Ferguson said.
Khumalo, according to Ferguson, had told her the shooting took place in the kitchen.
The killers, she said, had been “very aggressive and (appeared to be) under the influence of nyaope” when they attacked her family.
“Kelly drove him to the hospital, and shortly after arriving, he died. When I got to her place on Tuesday, she was all alone in her bedroom busy packing Senzo’s clothes.”
Khumalo and Meyiwa had been living together in a serious relationship for more than five months and spent most of the time together at the townhouse.
“It is going to take time before she forgets what really happened,” Ferguson said. “She said to me ‘We were so happy together. Everything was coming right, as if we were now living our dream’,” she added.
Khumalo’s eldest child, fathered by convicted musician Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye, had watched Meyiwa get shot, Ferguson said.
“Senzo was like a father figure to that boy. Now both these children don’t have their fathers. Kelly said to me ‘What am I gonna do? I have two children whose fathers are gone’.”
Despite the challenges the couple had previously gone through, Ferguson said it was still wrong of people to judge and blame Khumalo for Meyiwa’s death on social networks.
“Both she and (Meyiwa’s wife) Mandisa are mourning the death of Senzo. No one between the two is mourning less or more; they are experiencing the same pain,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said on Wednesday Khumalo had no intention of attending the funeral out of respect for the family.
The Meyiwa family has said that Khumalo would not be welcome. Should she turn up, she would be chased away, they warned.
In uMlazi, Mandisa Mkhize, Meyiwa’s widow, has been criticised for not taking her place in mourning on the mattress on the floor in the home of her late husband’s parents – as is expected by African custom.
“We have not seen her. She is not inside that house,” said a neighbour waiting outside the K-section home of Meyiwa’s parents, Sam and Ntombifuthi.
On Wednesday Sam Meyiwa left for Joburg to fetch his son’s body and hoped to return with his widow.
Meyiwa’s aunt, Busi Meyiwa, said her brother would be home on Friday with his son’s belongings, including his two vehicles – a VW Golf and BMW X6.
“We are hoping that he will come back with Mandisa,” she said.
Another family member commented: “Mandisa should have been here mourning as the wife who lost the husband.”
Meyiwa sr also wants his son’s ID book, which is apparently in the hands of Khumalo, who is rumoured to be refusing to hand it over.
Another neighbour said Mkhize had rejected the mourning tradition because she was still angry that Meyiwa had left her at the party and had sneaked off to have dinner at Khumalo’s home.
“He really embarrassed her. Even the fact that he died showing love for Khumalo is very embarrassing for his wife,” said the neighbour.
Mkhize works for an insurance company in Joburg, and relatives said they were not sure if she had taken leave from work to be with her in-laws in KwaZulu-Natal.
When asked about Mkhize’s absence, family spokesman Siyabonga Miya said she was busy in Joburg, but could not say what was keeping her busy.
It has been reported that police officers interviewed Mkhize for an hour at the Vosloorus police station on the East Rand.