Woman shot for exposing Senzo Meyiwa’s killers
Woman shot for exposing Senzo Meyiwa’s killers
Crucial evidence related to the murder case of Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was overlooked, including a tip-off by his father that his son was the victim of a hit.
In 2015, the soccer star’s father, Sam Meyiwa, gave police information about well-known assassins he believed were involved in the murder of his son. The alleged hitmen were from KwaNongoma in KwaZulu-Natal.
City Press can reveal that Meyiwa’s father identified some of the five hitmen who were arrested by police in 2015. Meyiwa was gunned down on October 26 2014 at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s house in Vosloorus on the East Rand.
Two men allegedly stormed into the house and demanded cellphones and money, while others waited outside.
One of the alleged hitmen, whose name is known to the police, then fatally shot Meyiwa before fleeing the scene.
Insiders with knowledge of the matter believe that the case, which has dragged on for more than six years, would have been solved if the “police had connected the dots”.
This comes after investigations revealed that two of the suspects identified in the Meyiwa murder case were mentioned by his father to police back in 2015.
The two suspects are in prison after being convicted for other murders. Three others are awaiting trial. Another one was gunned down in KwaNongoma in 2016.
Investigations have also revealed that the murder of Meyiwa was a hit, not a botched robbery as was initially believed.
“The information that was given by Senzo’s father to the police was accurate. I know a suspect who is in prison was interviewed in 2015. I don’t know why there were no follow-ups. Justice has been delayed for this family. They need closure,” said a police insider this week.
In August, we revealed that the police had made a breakthrough in the case after they found the weapon that was allegedly used to kill the footballer.
In 2014, police said no cartridges were found at the crime scene because Meyiwa was shot with a revolver. Investigators also revealed that Meyiwa was shot with a 9mm pistol, not a .38 revolver. The ballistic test results confirmed it was the murder weapon. They also identified five men who were allegedly involved in the murder of the soccer star. They all signed warning statements, but were not formally charged.
A docket was submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in August for a decision.
NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said the decision would be made public soon and the details would be included in the announcement.
This week, insiders also said that the NPA would make an announcement soon.
Two of the five men made confessions to a magistrate, claiming the murder of Meyiwa was a hit. The assassins claimed they demanded R400 000 for the hit.
In an audio recording that City Press listened to this week, one of the witnesses told the police during an interview that the preparations for the hit were finalised at the Basuthwini Hostel in Vosloorus.
The witness, who cannot be named, recounted how three hitmen locked themselves in a room and had a meeting. He alleged that the trio then left together shortly after the meeting, in a hired car. He said they returned to the hotel 50 minutes later. The witness alleged that the trio returned with two well known contract killers.
“They entered the room and told us they had just murdered Senzo Meyiwa. Everybody in the house was dumbfounded,” the man says in the recording.
He said that was when it occurred to him that, when the trio had locked themselves in a room earlier, they had been discussing a strategy for Meyiwa’s murder. He said the hitmen, who were still armed, joined them for drinks.
“It was clear that they had a lot of money. They bought most of the booze we had that night,” he says in the recording.
The witness said that, a few days later, he asked one of the gunmen where they had got so much money. “He told me that they were paid after they murdered Senzo Meyiwa.”
Regarding another man who was part of the group, the witness said: “I asked him why he was hiding from me where they got the money. He told me that he wanted to keep this a secret because he was scared that I would spill the beans if the police arrested me.”
The man also confirmed to the witness that they were indeed paid to kill Meyiwa.
The witness claimed that one of the hitmen, who was working at a mine, left his job shortly after the murder.
“He had a lot of money,” the witness said.
He told police that he was not sure how much they were paid. “They did not tell us how much they were paid for the hit. They told us some of the group members had short-changed them because one of them bought himself a van.”
The witness also told the police about a dramatic incident a few months after Meyiwa was murdered – he said one of the gunmen shot his girlfriend when she threatened to go to a police station and report him.
The witness said the hitman had confided in her that he was involved in the hit. He said after the shooting the hitman’s family panicked and convened a meeting.
At the meeting, it was decided that they should pay the woman to stop her from reporting the matter to the police. The family members contributed R100 each. They collected R4 500 and handed it to her family.
In another incident, the hitman had an altercation with friends at the Basuthwini Hostel. He angrily fired a shot into the air and told everyone in the room that he murdered Meyiwa.
Again, the family of the hitman contributed money. They paid the people who witnessed the incident R3 000 so that they would not report the matter to the police.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo this week said: “The investigation you are raising questions about is at a very sensitive stage. Any confirmation or denial of your questions could hamper the progress of the investigation.”