Meyiwa family shocked by suspects' denial of involvement in Senzo's murder
The family of murdered soccer player Senzo Meyiwa on Tuesday said they were shocked by the incidents that unfolded at the Boksburg magistrate’s court when the five murder accused appeared.
“I am shocked because the police are the ones who brought them here, alleging they have also made confessions. I was hoping they would step into the box [court dock], but they don’t want to enter,” said Senzo's brother, Sifiso Meyiwa.
He was speaking to the SABC during a tea break shortly after the five accused men -Muzikawulahlelwa S’tembu Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokosizeni Ziphozonke Maphisa and Sifikuhle Nkani Ntuli - appeared.
Some of the five suspects, who appeared with their feet shackled, had refused to get into the dock, saying they had nothing to do with the murder of the soccer star who was gunned down in Vosloorus in October 2014.
Mncube, Maphisa and Ntuli said they did not see the need to apply for bail as they were in custody on other cases. Sibiya and Ntanzi have not applied for bail.
The accused, who all wore masks in accordance with the lockdown regulations, at times looked at each other and shook their heads as proceedings got under way and their charges were read to them.
The two suspects who were eligible for bail said they had no idea how they were linked to the case. One of the suspects disputed the statement made by police minister Bheki Cele that they were arrested on Monday.
This is the second time the police have brought a suspect to court over Meyiwa's murder.
Shortly after the killing in 2014, the police had arrested a man and brought him to the same court. He was later released and pursued legal action against the police for wrongful arrest.
When Meyiwa was killed in October 2014, he had been at the home of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo.
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 at the time, were also present.
Allegations surfaced at the time that Meyiwa was killed in a botched robbery, but AfriForum, which has been helping in the investigations, on Tuesday announced it was an assassination.
All the accused, with the exception of Ntanzi, did not have legal representation.
They are facing counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravated circumstances and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, police minister Bheki Cele has announced. Cele said the arrests were made between 8am and 10am on Monday in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Meyiwa was gunned down in Volsoorus, east of Johannesburg, in the presence of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo and members of her family in 2014.