National commissioner defends SAPS handling of Senzo Meyiwa investigation
Pretoria - National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has defended police's investigation into the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, saying that he "is satisfied with the work that has been done so far".
Sitole was responding to an article in The Sunday Independent this weekend saying Meyiwa was “mistakenly shot”, allegedly by one of the seven people present at the home of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo and that the "armed robbery gone wrong" claim is allegedly part of a cover-up involving senior police officers.
In a statement on Monday, the Office of the National Commissioner said: "The article which appeared on the front page of the Sunday Independent on 10 November 2019 is misleading to say the least. The article contains a myriad of assumptions, untruths and innuendos which have the potential of causing unnecessary uncertainties."
Meyiwa was shot dead five years ago in Khumalo's house in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
Khumalo, her mother, sister Zandi and her sister's boyfriend Longwe Twala, his friends Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala were present during the shooting incident. No one has been arrested or charged to date.
Last week Meyiwa's family appointed AfriForum to represent them in investigations.
The Sunday Independent reported this weekend that contrary to claims that Meyiwa was killed by armed robbers, the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was “accidentally” shot when he tried to intervene in a quarrel between Khumalo’s sister, Zandi, and Longwe Twala, at the singer’s mother’s home.
According to the report, the former lead investigator in the case, Colonel Bongani Gininda, is said to have withheld a crucial statement he had received in 2017 on who murdered Meyiwa and why. A case of defeating the ends of justice was opened against him in May this year, but he was mysteriously transferred to KwaZulu-Natal before he was arrested or questioned.
Police sources claim nobody from the National Prosecuting Authority is willing to sign the warrant for his arrest.
The revelations are contained in Meyiwa’s murder docket and other official records seen by the Sunday Independent this week, the report says.
On Monday, the Office of the National Commissioner said: "... Colonel Gininda is heading a team which is re-looking at cold cases in terms the South African Police Service Cold Case Intervention Programme as pronounced by the National Commissioner of Police.
"Gininda is still the lead investigator of the team which is investigating the murder of Senzo Meyiwa. He has never been removed or replaced as the investigator of the Senzo Meyiwa matter since he was tasked with this investigation in 2018."
The statement added that Sitole was being kept updated on the investigation on a regular basis and was satisfied with the work that has been done so far.
"The article is nothing short of story-telling based primarily on assumptions which can only be interpreted as intended to mislead the nation.
"Once again the National Commissioner is appealing to the nation, the media in particular, to allow this investigation to take its course unhindered."
Sitole said: "However, we will welcome any information that can help bring us closer to resolving this case."
"Colonel Gininda has a wealth of experience in criminal investigations after having successfully brought down one of this country's biggest criminal underworld figures, Radovan Krejcir. Therefore, everyone may rest assured that this investigation is being done by a team led by a good and capable investigator,” added Sitole.IOL