SENZO Meyiwa was “mistakenly shot”, allegedly by one of the seven people at the home of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. But the witnesses claimed an imaginary robbery gone wrong as part of a cover-up which involved senior police officers, Independent Media can reveal.
Contrary to claims that Meyiwa was killed by armed robbers, the former Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was gunned down when he tried to intervene in a quarrel between Khumalo’s sister Zandi, and her boyfriend Longwe Twala at the singer’s mother’s home in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, in 2014.
Khumalo’s mother, Ntombi Gladness Khumalo, allegedly also hid Meyiwa’s phone at a neighbours’ house before police investigators arrived.
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. He has since been transferred to KwaZulu-Natal. These revelations are contained in the Meyiwa murder docket and other official records seen by Independent Media this week.
This includes the draft charge sheet, sworn supplementary affidavits from neighbours, correspondence letters between the police and the National
Prosecuting Authority, and a comprehensive police progress report prepared for Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole by Gininda in April.
In a letter to the Gauteng director of public prosecutions in response to a request for a report into the Meyiwa matter before a meeting with Sitole’s advocate, Sibongile Mzinyathi on August 7, South Gauteng prosecutions boss advocate Andrew Chauke said “no contact was made with this office from August 10, 2015 until the docket was handed back to this office on April 8 this year after various attempts”.
“The main purpose of the meeting is to get approval for a senior officer to lead the investigation. He/she should re-interview the persons in the house, especially the two people from KZN, as it appears that Senzo Meyiwa was shot by accident, probably by one of the persons in the house. The witnesses are protecting the identity of that person.”
Sitole’s office refused to comment on the Meyiwa matter this week.
This comes as police opened a separate case of accessory to murder and defeating the ends of justice against Gininda and other officers, as well as all the witnesses who were at the Khumalo house when Meyiwa was killed. They also took the cellphone data of all who were in the house at the time, for analysis.
Meyiwa was shot in 2014 in the presence of Khumalo, her mother, her sister Zandi, Zandi’s boyfriend Twala, Meyiwa’s friends Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala, and Khumalo’s 4-year-old son Christian. At the time, all the witnesses had told the police, concerned neighbours and the media that the soccer star had died after three armed men stormed the Khumalo home and demanded money and cellphones. No one has been arrested or charged to date. However, affidavits from witnesses and neighbours, whose names have been withheld for safety reasons, have revealed that:
A neighbour saw Meyiwa “shoving and pushing” his killer through the window before he was shot;
Gladness told neighbours who had rushed to her home that Meyiwa was killed by three robbers who demanded money and cellphones;
She handed Meyiwa’s phone over to one of her neighbours minutes after he was shot;
Another neighbour cleaned the crime scene before the police arrived;
A third neighbour who rushed to the scene upon hearing gunshots saw no one emerge from the house;
Concerned neighbours were told to run down the street in pursuit of non-existent assailants;
Khumalo rushed a bleeding Meyiwa to hospital in his BMW X6, where he was confirmed dead;
None of the people in the house phoned the police. One of the neighbours called 10111;
Gladness falsely pointed out Zanokuhle Mbatha as Meyiwa’s killer at an identification parade, without revealing to the cops that the man was a neighbour who washed Meyiwa and her daughter’s cars. Mbatha is suing police for R10 million for wrongful arrest.
Gininda withheld a crucial statement from Meyiwa’s brother-in-law, Mlungisi Hlophe, who is married to his sister Nokuthula, that Madlala had told him on the night of the murder that “Zandi was fighting with her boyfriend, and Senzo Meyiwa was trying to separate the two”. In their affidavits, neighbours and police investigating the murder expressed frustration about a cover-up.
Meyiwa’s relative and family spokesperson, Siyabonga Miya, confirmed that the family had received a message from a witness who claimed the footballer was killed by someone inside the house.
“The top police brass are covering up this matter for certain individuals implicated,” Miya said.
AfriForum confirmed they had offered to help the family solve the crime, with its private prosecution unit head, Gerrie Nel, acting as the family’s advocate in the investigation.
Investigator Paul O’Sullivan has also volunteered his services pro bono. “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.
AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel said a growing list of families had asked for their services and they would do their best to assist. “We have some of the best investigators available. There needs to be a serious revamp in the justice system to get rid of incompetent people in both police and the NPA.”
Kriel said: “As a civil rights watchdog it is our duty to prevent the criminal justice system from collapsing.”
Private investigator Rick Crouch said the involvement of AfriForum could yield results. “However, it is going to be difficult because the police bungled the investigation from the start... the crime scene being contaminated.”
Source: Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) Written By: MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA and KARABO NGOEPE | Additional reporting Roland Mpofu and Nkululeko Nene