Sympathy for Khumalo after Meyiwa shooting

30 October 2014 - 12:27 By Bruce Gorton
Kelly Khumalo, girlfriend of Senzo Meyiwa and mother of one of his daughters. File photo
Kelly Khumalo, girlfriend of Senzo Meyiwa and mother of one of his daughters. File photo

Am I alone in feeling sorry for Kelly Khumalo?

When Senzo Meyiwa was killed, it didn’t take long for people to start slamming Khumalo.

He married, and she was the “other woman”.

The “other woman” who was clearly fond on him, who was the mother of his child, who remembered him singing her songs, who remembered him being her boyfriend.

Who was the woman he chose to spend his last day of life with, and the woman who remembered seeing him get shot, dying in her arms after possibly trying to protect her.

And there was an argument over whether she should get to go to the funeral.

I know adultery is a big taboo, and it cannot be easy for Meyiwa’s wife or family, but they have each other.

Khumalo has the anger of the public, some saying she killed him, and I remember reading one person saying she should be stoned.

The family have shoulders to cry on, but it is a cold shoulder that society turns to the “other woman” when this sort of thing happens.

And it isn’t right. Sure, the relationship was not socially sanctioned, but he was the one who was married.

Why do we as a society raise our fists to the one who wasn’t violating any oaths?

Heck she only found out that Meyiwa was married five months into the relationship.

“Kelly had no idea that I was in a relationship, I didn’t reveal it to her. I should have known and done better, I have apologised to both Mandisa and Kelly for this.” Meyiwa said earlier this year.

So why is it that she is treated like it was all her fault?

Is it because he was male, she is female, and somehow it is always easier to blame a woman?

Or maybe I am being unfair, maybe it is simply because she is the one who is still here.

I cannot answer that question, there are too judgements to be made.

I can however say this; it cannot be easy to be Kelly Khumalo right now, with the anger of a nation turned against her for loving whom she ought not to have loved, and for having lost.

It cannot be easy as her lover’s father does his damndest to add to the pain as he grasps for every possible asset simply so she has as little as possible to remember him by.

A picture in an ID book, a daughter to grow up not knowing her father, and memories, those she still has.

But those are not the man she loved.