Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
26 Oct 2021
6:13 am

We were hoping to see the mastermind in court, says Senzo Meyiwa’s brother

Bernadette Wicks

Brother, Sfiso, says the family will not know justice until the supposed 'mastermind' behind his gruesome death is brought to book.

Picture File: The five suspects on charges of the murder of Senzo Meyiwa appear at the Boksburg Magistrates Court on 27 October 2020. Picture: Neil McCartney

It took seven years but the five men accused of former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa’s murder are finally set to have their day in court.

But his brother, Sfiso, said the family will not know justice until the supposed “mastermind” behind his gruesome death is brought to book.

Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Ntanzi, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Ntuli appeared before the High Court in Pretoria, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Monday, when the start of their trial was finally set down for mid-April next year.

The case is scheduled to sit for two weeks then and for another two weeks from late May to midJune. It will be heard in Pretoria to accommodate the throngs of members of the press and public expected to attend.

Meyiwa is alleged to have been killed during a botched robbery at the home of his then girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, seven years ago today on 26 October 2014.

But rumours that it was in fact a hit are also rife, with some speculating the accused currently before court were hired hands.

Sfiso said yesterday he believed police had the wrong men.

“We were hoping to see the mastermind in court today,” he said, adding the family would continue to “fight until the end” to see justice for his brother.

The police have been criticised for the slow pace at which the case has moved over the years – with the current accused only having been arrested last year and the supposed “mastermind” still widely thought to be in the wind.

Shortly after Meyiwa’s death, the police arrested a lone suspect, but the charges against him were later dropped and the case went cold.

According to Sfiso, the police had dropped the ball and the process had been a frustrating one for the family.

A handful of fans of Meyiwa – among them 70-year-old Anne Shabalala and 50-year-old Charles Nchabeleng – were in the gallery yesterday. Shabalala wept recalling the last time she watched Meyiwa play.

“Senzo was a great player. The day before he died, he played at Orlando Stadium and he stopped four goals in the pouring rain,” she said.

“The next morning I got a call that he was dead, they had shot him. We couldn’t believe it.”

Nchabeleng said he had attended all the court appearances thus far and intended on seeing the case through to its close .

During yesterday’s proceedings, state advocate George Baloyi told the court all the preliminary issues had now been taken care of.

He said ahead of the start of the trial, the state had agreed to have the accused – who were all being detained at different correctional services facilities around the country at present – transferred to the same prison; and to make available to the defence nine witness statements which had – up until now – been withheld due to
security concerns.

Accused five, Ntuli, was last week convicted of murdering six people in a separate case in Richards Bay.

His advocate, Zandile Mshololo, on Monday told the court he had since been moved from Qalakabusha prison in Empangeni to Ebongweni supermax prison in Kokstad – a high-security facility housing some of the country’s most notorious offenders – and asked acting judge Carla van Veenendaal for an order transferring him back.

The judge, however, refused, explaining she was hesitant to interfere with the department of correctional services’ decisions.

Despite initial reports that some of the accused had confessed, at least three have since claimed they were, in fact, framed.

But advocate Gerrie Nel from civil rights group AfriForum was confident in the case against them.