From leaks to arrests: 5 responses from police on probe into Meyiwa's murder
Police minister Bheki Cele says the police have worked hard to crack Senzo Meyiwa's murder case over the past six years to ensure justice and closure for his family and loved ones.
Cele and police commissioner Khehla Sitole on Monday gave the nation an update on the investigation and announced the arrests of five suspects.
The minister said they were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on Monday morning. He said police are confident that they have a watertight case against the suspects, who appeared in the Boksburg magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Cele said while six years is a long time to solve a case, police needed tangible evidence to solve the murder.
Meyiwa was gunned down on October 24 in 2014 at the home of his girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo.
Here are five responses from the police on Meyiwa's case:
Five suspects arrested, more might follow
Sitole said one of the five arrested is suspected to have pulled the trigger. He said the police might make more arrests as investigations continue.
“Of the five suspects, one is suspected of having pulled the trigger in the Senzo Meyiwa case. This particular process is backed up by forensic evidence connecting five suspects to the scene as well as the weapon suspected to have been used.”
Discovery of the alleged murder weapon was a breakthrough
The commissioner said the investigation and arrests were delayed by attempts to recover the gun suspected to have killed Senzo.
“What is key is the ballistic evidence relating to the firearm and up to this far, it's only now that we have found the weapon. We have been looking for it for the duration of the investigation. With the final tactics, we have found the weapon and fortunate enough, the weapon is ballistically connected to the crime scene.”
Meyiwa's murder was a cold case
Sitole said police did not have a cold case unit when Meyiwa was murdered.
“There wasn't a dedicated approach to cold cases. But as and when we came in, we agreed with the minister that we need to have a dedicated unit to focus on cold cases. That's why this case was allocated.”
Leaks compromise the case
Cele said leaks of information about the investigation have delayed and compromised the case over the years.
“There are things we were told by the investigators that we could have [made progress with, but because of leaks were delayed]. Unfortunately, when these leaks happen, there is not even the courtesy of confirming with police. But even if you want to, how can the minister confirm the leaks? It does impact the cases when you create the court in the media and allow people to speculate.”
The family was not updated on arrests
Cele said Meyiwa's family would only be updated about the progress in investigations, after the media briefing. He said police did this to avoid leaks and jeopardising their case.
“The family has been updated at other times, but not this time. The problem this time is there have been too many leaks.”
LISTEN | Five suspects arrested for Senzo Meyiwa murder six years ago