Orlando Pirates FC footballers dance around former captain Senzo Meyiwa’s coffin. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi
Orlando Pirates FC footballers dance around former captain Senzo Meyiwa’s coffin. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi

’It was terrible’ – former MEC relives the day Senzo Meyiwa was killed six years ago

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Oct 26, 2020

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Johannesburg – On October 26, 2014, when soccer star Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s Vosloorus home, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane was only a few months into his new job as MEC for community safety.

Upon hearing the news, Nkosi-Malobane rushed to the hospital where an ambulance had taken the badly injured Meyiwa, who was shot at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo's home

She saw the body and watched as the police forensic team took pictures of it.

She was also there as his body was wheeled to the mortuary.

Nkosi-Malobane then braced herself to go and face Khumalo and all the other people who were in the house when Meyiwa was shot.

In the house that fatal day were Meyiwa, Kelly and Zandi Khumalo, their mother Ntombi, Longwe Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Thwala and Tumelo Madlala, Kelly’s then 4-year-old son, Christian, and Thingo, Kelly’s daughter with Senzo.

As the MEC, they were depending on her to find the culprit who cut short the life of Meyiwa and his promising soccer career.

The day will forever be etched in Nkosi-Malobane's mind, not only because it was a high-profile case but because she vacated the office last year, five years after the shooting, without having given Meyiwa's family, friends and fans the closure they badly needed.

"I was there all the time and, after the hospital, I went home to interact with the family and everyone else.

"It was terrible. You arrive at home, people are still traumatised. They had seen that thing happening and they were not in a good space.

"When they repeat what happened it affects them also. It was a very sad situation, very emotiona,l not only for them but for us too who went to the house," she said.

Nkosi-Malobane said they were hopeful when police indicated that they would use all the necessary resources to find the perpetrator.

That, she said, was going to bring hope not only to herself, as MEC, but also to Meyiwa's family and Gauteng residents.

Nkosi-Malobane said they were even more confident about an arrest when the case was removed from the local station and province and handed over to a national investigating team comprising experienced murder investigators.

"We all were very happy, excited that there is a team of professional, experienced investigators in this case assisting the family get closure.

"Unfortunately, it has been some years and nothing has happened.

"In such cases, you also rely on crime intelligence and also on sources who will interact with the community, including those that are key witnesses, to help in investigations.

"Unfortunately, from what I know, no one has come forward with any reliable information.

"Quite a number of information has been coming forward. It doesn't mean that the police are not following up on that information, including that someone believed to be behind the killing was in prison. They even went there to check that person.

"Even the people who were in the house, I don't know how many times police interviewed them as to who the perpetrators were."

While she is no longer community safety MEC, Nkosi-Malobane said she remained hopeful that investigators would secure an arrest.

She said she was saddened that there was no closure for the family.

"Whenever I hear people talking about this case, I feel very bad; I won't even pretend.

"I feel helpless sometimes. I feel frustrated but I am still hopeful that one day the perpetrator will be found.

"One day, someone will come forward with the information, the same as they did before.

"There were leads at some point but, unfortunately, we were hitting a brick wall.

"I am a very patient person. Even if I am not the MEC of community safety any more, I still believe that one day we will be able to arrest the person who is responsible for this.

"The person behind this will be found, not only for the sake of the family but everyone in the country.

"I am still requesting people who know something to come forward," Nkosi-Malobane said.

* The Sunday Independent reported in an exclusive this weekend that the arrest warrants for five alleged hit men, were obtained on Wednesday.

They were reportedly signed by advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, the director of public prosecutions in the Gauteng division of the National Prosecuting Authority.

The suspects, who are said to be in jail for other crimes, are expected to appear in court this week on charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and the contravention of firearm laws.

The IOL team will be following the story.

IOL

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