Johannesburg – Hours after former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa was killed, his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo and her sister Zandile allegedly approached a nearby sangoma and asked for ritual cleansing.
Days later, the sisters’ mother, Gladness, allegedly also drove to the same sangoma’s house accompanied by Zandile and her then boyfriend Longwe Twala, who is said to have told the traditional healer that he “couldn’t sleep at night because a dead person was strangling him”.
These revelations are in a sworn affidavit submitted to the police by the sangoma, which the Sunday Independent has seen. The sangoma’s identity has been withheld for safety reasons.
The sangoma, in her affidavit dated January 20, 2015, claims she was reluctant to perform any rituals on Twala without his parents’ consent, but Gladness convinced her that “nobody wants to help her (Gladness) except me”.
The sangoma, in her affidavit, further revealed that:
Kelly Khumalo returned with a goat in January 2015 for another cleansing ceremony because things weren’t going well with her;
The singer’s two children were also subjected to ritual cleansing;
She told Longwe, as she was cleansing him, that the shadow of a dead person was following him, and he responded by saying, “the dead person is even strangling him and he doesn’t sleep at night”.
When contacted for comment, Khumalo said via WhatsApp: “Why don’t you write the sh**t you’ve been writing all along. I dare you to contact me again asking sh**t! Just know that once all of this is done my legal team is coming. Not a threat but a promise.”
Zandile and Twala could not be reached for comment.
Meyiwa was shot and killed at Khumalo’s mother’s house in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, on October 26, 2014, in the presence of seven people.
Khumalo, Zandile, Gladness, Twala and others who were present later told the police and the media that three black men killed Meyiwa during a robbery “gone wrong”. No one has been arrested or charged, and it has been alleged this is due to a police cover-up.
A police officer who was at the crime scene has named former Gauteng Hawks boss, Major-General Shadrack Sibiya, as one of the top cops who allegedly interfered with the investigation.
He told the Sunday Independent that Sibiya had arrived at the Vosloorus home, even though the matter fell under the authority of police detectives and not the Hawks. He allegedly ordered officers not to take statements from witnesses, ostensibly because they were “tired or traumatised”.
The Sunday Independent has established that sworn affidavits were only obtained on November 6, 2014, 10 days after the murder.
On Saturday, Sibiya confirmed visiting the Khumalo family home but denied interfering with the investigation.
He said as the Hawks often became involved in high-profile murder investigations, he had received a call from the then deputy provincial commissioner of detective services, Major- General Tebello Mosikili, about the murder.
“My initial role was to be part of the investigating team,” said Sibiya.
“All I can remember is that some of the witnesses were, of course, crying hysterically, and obtaining a statement from a person who is not in his or her sound and sober senses may be risky because such persons change their version from time to time.
“But nevertheless, I do not remember instructing anyone not to do their work, especially when a decision had already been taken that the case will be investigated by a task team of experienced detectives,” he added.
However, Sibiya confirmed that musician Sello “Chicco” Twala, who is Longwe’s father, had called him “asking to meet me or the team investigating the matter”.
Sibiya arranged a meeting between investigating officers and Sello “since I was not in charge of the investigation”. Sibiya complained that his name was “continuously being dragged into the Senzo matter, but at no point was I approached for a statement”.
The Sunday Independent reported last week that Meyiwa had been “mistakenly shot” when he tried to intervene in a quarrel between Zandile and Longwe Twala. We also revealed that the lead investigator, Colonel Bongani Gininda, had been charged with defeating the ends of justice for withholding a crucial statement by Meyiwa’s brother-in-law, Edward Hlophe, which “confirmed” one of the Khumalo guests had killed Meyiwa.
However, a senior National Prosecuting Authority official said this week that Gininda had included Hlophe’s affidavit in his file, but kept it from his colleagues, because “investigating officers in the Senzo matter don’t trust each other”.
Police sources claimed there were divisions in the investigating team, with one group reporting directly to Police Minister Bheki Cele and the other to national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole.
“Those who report to Minister Cele have so far refused to meet General Sitole, who is their immediate commander, or report any progress in their investigation to him,” one officer said.
The Sunday Independent