Durban - POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has been labelled the mastermind behind the delay in getting justice for slain Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
Cele has been accused of interference, bribery and underhandedness that have resulted in a seven-year-long delay in bringing Meyiwa’s killers to book.
Sinqobile Maphisa, the sister of Mthokozisi (Ziphozonke) Maphisa, one of the men on trial for Meyiwa’s murder, has made the claims, saying she could no longer keep quiet – especially after Malesela Teffo, the advocate representing her brother and the other three accused, was arrested in court this week, was arrested in court this week. Teffo was released on R10 000 bail on Friday.
Maphisa said that since the trial began, Teffo, who also represented Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi and Mthobisi Ncube, had risked his life to prove the accused had not committed the murder in 2014.
She said visiting her brother in prison twice a month was difficult, knowing that Cele had “orchestrated his alleged involvement”.
“What we know is that Senzo’s killer was inside the house. I went around Vosloorus and neighbours confirmed that there was no intruder. The only car that was seen driving out hours after gunshots were heard was Kelly Khumalo’s taking Senzo to the hospital,” she said.
“I also discovered that there were two dockets prior to the current one. Those contained the truth, but they have since been squashed. My family also heard recordings of Senzo’s best friend from Durban, who was in the house that night, calling the Meyiwa family saying someone in the house had shot Senzo by mistake.
“In the background of the recording, Kelly is heard crying, asking what she would tell the Meyiwa family. What happened to those recordings? There are more than three detectives who have been fired for wanting to reveal the truth.”
Maphisa told the Sunday Tribune that Cele, accompanied by a brigadier who heads up a team of investigators, approached the Sibiya and Ntanzi families to offer them money in exchange for the freedom of their sons.
“They promised the Ntanzi family R3 million, asking that he take the fall and promising him a reduced sentence. The Sibiya family was promised R100 000 and a reduced sentence, but he is being tortured by police, getting assaulted daily. My brother was approached and they promised to reduce his current murder sentence,” she said.
“Advocate Teffo has been the only one in our corner. He has received death threats numerous times, but he is not backing down.”
In December, Teffo, a former police investigator, made similar allegations against Cele and former national police commissioner Khehla Sitole. Teffo was appointed on a watching brief by Meyiwa’s brother, Sifiso.
He said he found that the problem was the national commissioner and the police minister.
The docket opened in 2014 alleged Senzo was shot by two intruders, while the docket opened in 2019 found the gunman was among the people in the house during the incident.
He alleged the police had contemplated the arrest of seven people, but the investigation was stopped. Instead, the five accused were identified and pressured to confess.
“The seven people who were in the house are being protected. They have to go to court and explain what happened to Senzo on that day. It is a known fact that the murder weapon was brought in by one of the seven people and two bullets were shot. One hit the floor and the second one ended up grazing the chest of the deceased,” he said.
Magdalene Moonsamy, Kelly Khumalo’s lawyer, said she would not respond to speculation regarding her client. She said people had the right to draw their own conclusions, but they needed to be based on facts, not sensationalism.
“We must attend to what we are faced with in the courtroom, which is the five accused. I think that is the most critical aspect, and then consider what their previous convictions are,” she said.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the question about whether the NPA had been ready to institute legal proceedings against the seven people who were in the house during Meyiwa’s shooting was unclear, and he could not comment.
Lirandzu Themba, Cele’s spokesperson, said he had “nothing to say on this issue”.
The murder trial is scheduled to resume in the Pretoria High Court on May 30, but Teffo is expected to approach the court this week for an earlier date. He believes his clients are not safe in police custody.