Desperate families look to AfriForum for justice
On Tuesday, AfriForum and the family of the late soccer player announced that the organisation would represent the family and its head of private prosecution unit, advocate Gerrie Nel, would act as their advocate in the murder investigation.
Meanwhile, investigator Paul O’Sullivan is the latest to enter the fray to have Meyiwa’s case resolved.
The law enforcement expert with more than 45 years’ experience in investigation said he volunteered his services on a pro bono basis because he believed that AfriForum had tremendous depth of experience and legal brains and its involvement could not do any harm.
“I have also advised AfriForum that I will tender my firm’s service on a pro bono basis to see if we can bring closure to the family of the deceased,” said O’Sullivan.
In another development, the Mhlongo family in KwaZulu-Natal whose son, a policeman, was murdered said they were watching the latest development between AfriForum and the Meyiwa family with keen interest.
Sazi Mhlongo, the father of the deceased and also a traditional healer, said his son, Constable Thandoluhle “Ndo” Mhlongo, had been shot and killed at a shisa nyama in his home town in Kranskop, near KwaDukuza, in March. He alleged that Thandoluhle’s death was a hit. Mhlongo said his son had arrested a local politician who was allegedly involved in a murder.
“We are deeply hurting that the investigation has failed to uncover the real motive for Thandoluhle’s death. Our hearts are broken because we know the truth, his death was related to his work, “ubebopha engadlali” (he arrested criminals). He was a no-nonsense cop. He was a special and dedicated man of the law. Police officers like him are unfortunately hated by the criminals. We are looking at approaching AfriForum to assist us in this case,” Mhlongo said.
Mhlongo said Thandoluhle, 34, died just before he could move into a house he had completed building next to the family home. He said his son’s death had traumatised his family, including his fiancée, who was left with two children to raise.
“We were very close. He built a house a stone’s throw from the main house because he wanted to always be accessible when I needed him,” Mhlongo said.
Hawks KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said the case was being investigated by Hawks members from the Durban Serious Organised Crime unit.
“It is untrue that the case is moving at a slow pace since the arrest was made a few days after the incident. The case has been moved from Kranskop Magistrate’s Court to Pietermaritzburg High Court for trial after the suspect applied for bail extension,” said Mhlongo.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel revealed that there has been a growing list of families asking for its services. He said AfriForum would do its best to assist the families even though they could not promise that the cases for which their services were enlisted would be solved. He said AfriForum had to assist in such cases as they were in the interest of justice.
“We have some of the best investigators available. We have been receiving several calls for various issues from families lately. There needs to be a serious revamp in the justice system to get rid of incompetent people in both police and NPA,” said Kriel.
Sifiso Meyiwa, who is the elder brother of Senzo, said the family had been led by God to work with the group. “We are proud to be associated with them. This is an organisation that is bold enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with us and is willing to fight for the truth I will not die until this has been solved,” he said.
O’Sullivan accused the criminal justice system of being captured by criminals.
“If the criminal justice system had not been captured by criminals eight to 10 years ago, the murderers would already be behind bars. It is my understanding that the family of the deceased approached AfriForum, not the other way around, so I take my hat off to AfriForum for agreeing to help bolster and cure the criminal justice system of its ailments,” said O’Sullivan.
Top private investigator Rick Crouch said the involvement of AfriForum would yield positive results for the investigation.
“However, it is going to be difficult because the police bungled the investigation from the start.”