South African officials have confirmed that five people have been arrested in the murder case of late Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, with more expected to follow.
The ex-Orlando Pirates captain was shot at the home of his former girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloors, East Rand in October 2014.
The incident was initially understood to be a robbery gone wrong, but the potential killer or killers had not been identified until the recent implementation of new cold-case techniques into the murder.
In Monday’s press briefing, National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole confirmed that five suspects had been arrested, including the man believed to have pulled the trigger, and that police had found the suspected murder weapon.
“The process has been backed up by forensic evidence,” he told journalists, “connected to the weapon and the scene.
“We suspect there will be more arrests as the investigation continues.”
Sitole acknowledged that police had used ‘different principles’ as they sought a breakthrough in the case, with this cold-case methodology ultimately leading to the alleged perpetrators.
“Some of these suspects were arrested while they were outside custody,” he added, “some were arrested or charged because they were already in custody on other cases on the cold-case strategic approach.”
Reports emerged in the local press on Sunday that police had finally made progress in the case, although contrary to those reports, Sitole noted that not all of the suspects were already in prison when they were arrested in connection to Meyiwa’s murder.
Also present at the briefing, Police Minister General Bheki Cele paid tribute to Meyiwa, who represented South Africa at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and would have started for Bafana at the 2015 Afcon had it not been for his murder.
“He was a national asset,” Cele noted. “We were at the funeral.
“It was one of the biggest funerals that took place, in the stadium, and we were there,” he continued. “We believe the nation will get the answers that they have always been expecting.
“Six years is a long time, yes, it would have been better if it was six weeks or six months.”
The breakthrough comes 15 months after the passing of Meyiwa’s father Sam, who had fought tirelessly and courageously for justice to be brought in the death of his son.
“Investigations are ongoing and more arrests cannot be ruled out,” Cele reiterated. “While six years have gone by, we remain confident that these arrests are the start of bringing closure.”