- Police Minister Bheki Cele visited slain football star Senzo Meyiwa’s family just hours after announcing a breakthrough in the murder case.
- He said the motive for the murder might have been bigger than has been understood up to now.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated police for the breakthrough.
“We believe that the death of Senzo [Meyiwa] might have been bigger than has been understood the whole time.”
These were the words of Police Minister Bheki Cele on Monday night, when he visited the slain football star’s family just hours after announcing five arrests in what was until now considered a cold case.
Following his press briefing in Gauteng earlier in the day, Cele arrived in Umlazi, south of Durban, just before 19:00 and was greeted by a large crowd at the Meyiwa family home in K Section.
Despite torrential rain, mostly women and children ecstatically chanted for the police minister, who graciously waved at them.
Neighbours gathered at the family home and heaped praise on Cele, who walked onto the premises with the positive news that five of Meyiwa’s alleged killers had been arrested.
He was whisked into the home, where he had a private meeting with several family members, including Siyabonga Meyiwa, brother of Senzo.
After the meeting, he told the media that their investigation had not really confirmed it was a robbery gone wrong, but had also not conclusively shown it was a hit.
At a briefing earlier, Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, said they believed it was an assassination and added the police probe had not answered the question of who the mastermind was.
The Meyiwa family turned to AfriForum last year after feeling that no progress had been made by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Family members are expected to travel to Boksburg, Gauteng in the morning where they will, for the first time, be confronted with the alleged killers in the dock.
It would have been a day Senzo’s father, Sam, would have hoped to see, but he died from a stroke last year while fighting for justice for his son.
Cele said the last time he visited the Umlazi house, both Senzo’s mother and father were present.
‘We congratulate the police for their hard work’
He last saw the family at Sam’s funeral. He said they made a promise not to throw in the towel.
In a statement late on Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated the police for the breakthrough and arrests.
“Today is a day on which we revisit the sadness that affected millions of us as South Africans when we lost Senzo Meyiwa in 2014.
“But this anniversary is mitigated by the arrest of five suspects who have been unable to escape the reach of the law, regardless of the passage of time.”
We congratulate the police for their hard work and persistence. We must now allow the criminal justice system and the judiciary to do their work and handle this matter to finality.
Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in the house of his girlfriend actress Kelly Khumalo exactly six years ago on Monday.
– Additional reporting by Jenna Etheridge
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