The father of Senzo Meyiwa, Sam Meyiwa, acknowledges the crowd. A memorial was held at the Standard Bank Arena to honour three recently deceased athletes: Senzo Meyiwa, Phindile Mwelase and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Picture: Chris Collingridge / Independent Media
The father of Senzo Meyiwa, Sam Meyiwa, acknowledges the crowd. A memorial was held at the Standard Bank Arena to honour three recently deceased athletes: Senzo Meyiwa, Phindile Mwelase and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Picture: Chris Collingridge / Independent Media

Senzo Meyiwa’s family reacts after five murder suspects arrested in KZN, Gauteng

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Oct 26, 2020

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Johannesburg – Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed at the peak of his footballing powers six years ago.

Hope has now arrived six years later, when Police Minister Bheki Cele announced police had arrested five people in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, including a suspect they believe pulled the trigger that claimed Meyiwa’s life.

Yet the question that reverberated that Sunday night six years ago still holds true today: “Who killed Senzo?”

The country will see the faces of the five men for the first time on Tuesday when they appear at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court.

At the time of his death, Meyiwa had been installed as captain of his beloved Orlando Pirates, where he had reached his best form since he joined the club as a teenager, and was also rewarded by then Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, who duly handed him the captain’s armband.

If Sam Meyiwa was still alive, he would have broken out in traditional dance today to mark the arrest of five suspects linked to Meyiwa’s murder.

This was the view of Siyabonga Meyiwa, an uncle and family spokesperson.

Police on Monday announced the arrest of five suspects linked with the murder of the former footballer, during a press conference in Pretoria.

Meyiwa said Sam would have been happy. “He fought very hard for Senzo’s killers to be found, he really fought until he died.

“On a day like this he would have been very happy, he would have felt some relief and he probably would have broken out in indlamu (traditional dance), because he really loved that and everybody knows how hard he fought for this to happen,” said Meyiwa.

Meyiwa said the family had been briefed earlier in the morning by representatives from the minister’s office and added they would be looking forward to interacting with the minister at 6pm on Monday.

“To be very honest we are very happy as a family because today marks the day when people who are responsible for Senzo’s death have been found.

“We are very happy that the police say they have a watertight case which they are convinced is correct and tested,” he said.

At 5pm, the family and AfriForum, who are assisting the family with legal advice, will host a press conference which is to be broadcast on Facebook.

“We are happy that people have been arrested because there was no closure for the family, because we did not know what happened, so we were very angry about that situation, that there are no arrests, nothing is happening, but we lost a son.

“We are hopeful that after this development things will get better. Senzo’s mother is also very happy about this development and we will now wait for the minister, to engage with him, but we are all happy,” he said.

Meyiwa was shot dead at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s home six years ago.

At the time, police said two suspected robbers entered the house and cellphones were stolen.

Cele said the arrests of the five suspects were made between 8am and 10am in Gauteng and KZN on Monday.

The suspects will appear in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole said the key in solving the case was to use cold case principles. He said a four-person cold case team was established and it had been central to cracking the Meyiwa murder investigation.

He said the weapon was recently found and the ballistic analysis confirmed it was the same weapon which was used during the Meyiwa shooting.

Sitole said more arrests would be made as the team investigating the case continued to unravel more evidence against potential suspects.

He also said three of those arrested were not necessarily in the house and that more arrests would be made, as the investigations was still ongoing.

“As people get arrested we will be guided by the investigation and what comes out,” said Sitole.

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

The Sunday Independent reported five arrest warrants were secured on Wednesday last week. It also said there was a hit on the former footballer’s life.

The Sunday Independent also said hit men had been promised R250 000 to carry out the job.

The Sunday Independent said police were still investigating whether any of the people who were in the house when Meyiwa was shot could be charged with or linked to his murder.

Cele said the investigation had taken a long time, but he was grateful that arrests had been made.

When asked about the hit, Sitole said police were still investigating further.

“We are following the investigation up to this point. Evidence that we have collected is what we have shared, the investigation is still continuing.

“After court we will know if it was a hit or properly planned. Further outcomes of the investigation will determine that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sitole was convinced the police had the right suspects this time around.

“It has been all the way about prosecution. We have a concrete case this time, because it is backed up by the evidence,” said Sitole.

He said it was a coincidence the arrests were made on the anniversary of Meyiwa’s death.

“It is coincidence, it is not that we have planned to make this announcement today because it is the anniversary,” said Sitole.

Orlando Pirates players salute the slain Senzo Meyiwa at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
The parents of Senzo Meyiwa, Sam and Nthombifuthi Senzo, with an honorary, framed goalkeeper jersey of their son. Picture: Chris Collingridge / Independent Media Archives

Meanwhile, Meyiwa’s cousin, Siyabonga Miya, remembered the footballer as the warmest person with a good heart.

“Senzo had such a good heart, he did not deserve to be shot dead.

“I do not remember ever that he fought with anyone.

“He had the warmest heart and to him, he was not a fighter, he did not like conflict, he loved people,” said Miya.

“How do you kill an angel? Some people have blood on their hands,” he said. | IOL

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