AfriForum hopes embarrassment will push officials into doing their job on Senzo Meyiwa case
AfriForum on Tuesday said it hoped that leading its own investigation into the death of Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana soccer player Senzo Meyiwa would embarrass law enforcers enough for them to do their jobs.
“Maybe it is time to embarrass the criminal justice system,” said the organisation's CEO, Kallie Kriel.
“If embarrassing the criminal justice system leads to them upping their game and there is justice for people who die, then this will be worth it,” he said.
Kriel was addressing a media conference at AfriForum’s headquarters in Pretoria, where it was announced that renowned Advocate Gerrie Nel had been appointed as the Meyiwa family’s advocate.
Kriel said the organisation took on the case after being requested to do so by the Meyiwa family after five years of unanswered questions about who killed the soccer player.
The lobby group said its investigators had since jumped on to the case.
“We see it as a privilege to be involved in the investigation into the death of an icon in our country,” he said.
“We believe Senzo deserves justice and we want to do it because it is the right thing to do. Senzo and the Meyiwa family deserve justice. The family deserves to find closure.”
AfriForum already had a plan of action regarding the investigation.
It said it would start by listening to telephone recordings between the Meyiwa family and relevant role players.
“Various things were said to them which we believe can be used to try to solve this case.
“We also frown upon the fact that a senior member of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) told the family that witnesses lied. If witnesses lied, we expect the NPA to act against those people,” said Kriel.
“If you know somebody is lying, then at least you must have an idea of what the truth is, but five years on and we have seen no action or steps taken,” he said.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper was gunned down in the presence of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo; her mother, Ntombi; sister Zandi; Zandi’s boyfriend, Longwe Twala; his friends Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala; and their son, who was four years old when his father died.
At the time, it was alleged the shooting was the result of a botched robbery.
One man was arrested shortly after Meyiwa’s killing, and the pronounced victory in the case. The suspect, was however, later released and has since slapped the police ministry with a law suit for wrongful arrest.
No other arrests have been made since then.
Kriel said, however, that while they were going to conduct their own investigation, they were not taking over the work of the police.
“We don’t want to take the case over from the police but we want to assist,” he said, adding that whatever information they found they would share with law enforcers.
Kriel said they hope this would assist the NPA to go ahead with a prosecution, but if the NPA failed, AfriForum would embark on a private prosecution.
Sifiso Meyiwa, who is the elder brother of Senzo, also addressed the media.
He said the family had been led by God to work with group.
“We are proud to be associated with them. This is an organisation that is bold enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with us and is willing to fight for the truth.
“I will not die until this has been solved,” he said.
Meyiwa said he was approaching this without any fear of government.
“It is now time for God to judge all the corrupt leaders, all the corrupt people in the positions of power,” he said.
He expressed his disappointment in the NPA.
“I have heard the NPA said the people who were inside [the house in which Senzo was killed] lied. I want to know why are they saying that now,” he said.
He also questioned why the initial prosecutor in the case was suspended.