Four years and still no justice for Senzo
It's been over four years since former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was murdered in an alleged botched robbery, and we are still no closer to finding out the truth of what happened.
Senzo was killed in October 2014 at the family home of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. Among those in the house at the time of the murder was Kelly, her sister Zandi, her mother Ntombi, her son Christian, Senzo's friends Tumelo and Mthoko and Longwe Twala.
Music producer Chicco Twala made headlines in February after a parody social media account claimed to have information about the murder and pointed fingers towards the music veteran and his son, Longwe.
It sparked a massive frenzy for a whole week where Longwe, Sam and Chicco all gave interviews to give their opinions on the murder that has haunted Mzansi for years.
"The people who were present when my son was shot are causing me so much pain"
In an interview with Masechaba Ndlovu and Mo Flava on Metro FM following the claims, Senzo's father Sam Meyiwa insisted that there had been a cover-up.
"The people who were present when my son was shot are causing me so much pain. They know who killed Senzo but they are keeping quiet. Senzo was a breadwinner. He supported the family and now we are suffering,"
"If he killed Senzo, I would have pushed for him to go to jail"
Chicco responded to both the social media claims and Sam's comments and said that even if his son had pulled the trigger, he would want justice to be served.
"If Longwe had killed Senzo, I promise you Masechaba, I would be the first person to act. I don't care. He's my son. But if he killed Senzo, I would have pushed for him to go to jail. Leave me out of this thing. I wasn't there."
Chicco admitted that police did ask him for his gun after they too heard rumours of his alleged involvement. He said he handed it in for ballistics tests and it was later returned.
"They took my firearm and about four weeks later they said my gun is not the one."
A "robbery gone wrong"
Longwe also spoke out in an effort to clear his name, denying that he killed Senzo and said he was upset that he was being accused of being the triggerman.
"I am saddened that my own people would do this to me. It was a murder gone wrong. I am an Orlando Pirates supporter myself. How could I murder my own goalkeeper? How can I murder Senzo in front of his best friend without him coming out to get me in jail. It doesn't make sense."
He said that he had tried to protect his friend.
"I was the one who stood up first trying to protect everyone, not realising that the other (man) also had a gun. He pointed the gun at me and I ran outside, While I was outside, I thought of getting help but the neighbours were sleeping. I did not have my phone with me because I (had) left it inside."
He also denied that he and Kelly were on drugs at the time and insisted that he did not have his father's gun on that night.
"My father is a very powerful man. He has a lot to protect, but he doesn't walk around with bodyguards. He walks around with his gun 24/7. He would never make the mistake of leaving his gun anywhere. He always has his gun with him."
Forensic social media experts
Chicco later hired forensic social media experts to try find the identity of the person behind the account.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE he said he was determined to find the person responsible for the claims.
"I don't care what people say on social media. They can speculate all they want. I want the facts and if someone is claiming that I am involved, I want evidence. Otherwise it is defamation."
It wasn't Kelly
He believed that his son and Kelly were not involved in the murder.
"Look, I wasn't there the day Senzo was killed but I know that Kelly and Senzo were in love. Why would she kill him? They were lovers. They had a child together. Someone would have spoken out by now. If it was my son, or anyone else she knew, she would have said something. I don't think she would have kept quiet. You can't keep quiet when someone you love dies in front of you and you know who killed him. It would have come out."
Speaking to Move several months later, Zandi said that people were free to speculate what they wanted but none of the people in the house were to blame for Senzo's death.
"People will think whatever they want to think. We know what happened and the police know what happened. And if people have any doubts, they will have to sort that out with the police. The police would have arrested us on the day of the incident if we were suspects. So it simply means that we have nothing to do with it. We are also victims in all of this."
A tombstone and a stroke
Senzo's father had been pleading with the nation to help him raise funds for a tombstone for his son and his prayers were answered when former AmaZulu midfielder Ntokozo Sikhakhane organised a benefit match to raise money for the stone.
However, only a months later Sam was rushed to hospital after suffering a stroke. A family spokesperson told Daily Sun that they believed it had been brought on by rumours that police had closed the investigation into Senzo's death.
"We believe he’s struggling to come to terms with the news. It’s been four years since Senzo was killed, but no one has been arrested. Last week we heard the Hawks were no longer investigating, which means we’ll never know who killed him. If cops had arrested the killers, Sam would have had some consolation," Jabu Buthelezi told the paper.