Johannesburg – Police Minister Bheki Cele said he would no longer commit to when police would arrest former footballer Senzo Meyiwa’s killers, but assured mourners they would be found, one day.
It has almost been five years since Meyiwa was murdered at Kelly Khumalo’s Vosloorus home in October 2014 during an alleged botched robbery. He was shot in the back.
Sam Meyiwa, the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain’s father, died earlier this week with his son’s killers still unknown.
He had been vocal about his son’s death, having met with at least two ministers, Fikile Mbalula and Cele, who both promised him they would catch the killers.
Meyiwa Snr died this week after taking ill after he suffered a stroke last year.
During the funeral in Umlazi, south of Durban, mourners heard from Meyiwa’s family that Sam had kept a journal where he recorded his frustrations about the Senzo Meyiwa murder mystery and the lack of progress in the case.
A relative said Meyiwa Snr would bemoan police solving high profile cases, but could never understand why police could not bring Meyiwa’s killers to book when there was a house full of people who witnessed him being shot almost five years.
Speaking at Meyiwa Snr’s funeral, Cele, who was in a combative mood, said he would not rest until Meyiwa’s killers were found. He told mourners the police were in contact with the family, updating them regularly on developments and also took a swipe at the media for apparently putting pressure on the police to crack the case.
He told mourners and the Meyiwa family that there was hope in solving the case.
“What I will not do now is give dates because the media comes back and you hound me,” he told mourners in isiZulu.
Cele had assured South Africans that the killers would be arrested before Easter Weekend, but four months later, there have been no arrests.
“I want to remove the ‘Rest In Peace’,” he said pointing at a TV screen which had Meyiwa Snr’s face, acknowledging he could not rest without solving the murder mystery.
“We will come back and tell Sam Meyiwa that now you can rest in peace. The day is coming, the day is definitely coming. Give us a bit of a space, we don’t want to make too much of news out of this.
“When you write and say things, remember that this is a person that is loved. It is pressure enough that we have to find Senzo’s killers, give us space to work,” said Cele.
Immediately after Cele slammed the media in his speech, the programme director thanked the media for keeping Senzo Meyiwa’s story alive.
Earlier, another of Meyiwa’s relatives had told mourners: “It has been five years since we have been waiting for the law to take its place, they have failed”.
Cele said he would meet with Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, NPA head Batohi, police commissioner Khehla Sitole next week.
“Yes, the family has the pain of not knowing, but we are in contact with them… We do not investigate on TV, he did not die on TV, they must leave us alone, the public must support us…
What I am sure about is that we will solve this case,” said Cele.
He pointed to former police boss Richard Mdluli being convicted of kidnapping this week for the murder of a man who had been romantically linked to his customary wife in 1999. He did not tell mourners the murder case remained unsolved.
“One problem with the Senzo case is that we cannot hit and miss, because there is a lot of noise. There is already one miss, I do not want to miss again,” he said.