POLICE minister Bheki Cele has confirmed the arrest of five suspects in connection with the murder of former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, exactly six years after he was gunned down.
Meyiwa was murdered while visiting his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo at her home in Vosloorus, East Rand, on 26 October 2014.
The minister said the suspects were arrested in Gauteng and Kwa Zulu-Natal between 8am and 10 o’clock on Monday.
“I’m happy to announce that there has been a breakthrough in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case. The first fiveE suspects have been arrested between 8am and 10 am this morning in Gauteng and Kwa Zulu-Natal,” said Cele.
“At this point, we cannot reveal any further information as investigations are still ongoing and more arrests cannot be ruled out.”
Speaking during a media press briefing, Cele condemned leaks by the media, saying they are intended to derail the police investigations.
“We really condemn these leaks and strongly believe that information may have been leaked in an attempt to derail the investigations,” said Cele.
“This is why moving forward, the investigation team will be considering opening a case or cases of defeating the ends of justice to ensure such leaks never occur again. Despite this interference, the Cold Case Team persevered. After gathering sufficient intelligence, information and evidence.”
Cele said Senzo’s murder brought the Meyiwa family immeasurable pain and sent shockwaves across the country and the African continent.
“South Africans from all corners joined the Meyiwa family, in demanding justice for this brutal murder. But with no arrests, hope of whether or not Senzo Meyiwa’s killers would be found began to fade away for some. But not for us in the South African Police Service,” said Cele.
“Despite heavy criticism from some quarters, I have always maintained that I am satisfied the murder investigation is progressing well. I have on numerous occasions also expressed my confidence that those suspected of this crime will be found and brought to book.”
Weekend reports in the said police had nabbed at least five people in connection with the murder of the former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper-captain.
The Sunday Independent also reported five arrest warrants were secured on Wednesday last week, which were signed by advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, the director of public prosecutions in the Gauteng division of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The newspaper said Meyiwa was killed in an apparent hit after gunmen were hired to carry out the job.
They were initially promised R250 000.
The reports also said police were still investigating whether any of the people who were in the house when Meyiwa was shot, can be charged or linked to his murder.
Shortly after the arrest on Monday, AfriForum congratulated SAPS investigators and the police minister for the breakthrough in the Meyiwa murder case.
The civil rights organisation, which represents the Meyiwa family in the investigation, also highlighted the fact that the SAPS was willing to involve advocate Nel and AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit in their investigation during the past few months.
“AfriForum’s involvement in this case has amongst others, contributed to the moving of the case from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Johannesburg to the DPP Pretoria, which meant that focus could be placed on key elements of the case. The Private Prosecution Unit also expressed their dismay at the composition of the SAPS investigative team to police management and after some changes were made to the team, the investigation was able to progress,” said Nel.
The investigative team supplied a full description of the facts to AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit and Nel complimented the investigative team for their thorough investigation.
“We now know it wasn’t a robbery went wrong, but in fact an assassination. The challenge now is to bring the mastermind behind the murder to justice,” said Nel.
Senzo Meyiwa’s brother, Sifiso, expressed his gratitude towards the SAPS and AfriForum on behalf of the Meyiwa family with the progress of the case.
“Although we are grateful that the arrests were made, we remain anxious that the mastermind was not arrested. In the view of the established cooperation between our legal team from AfriForum and the SAPS, we remain hopeful that more arrests will follow,” said Meyiwa.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)