The person suspected of pulling the trigger of the gun that killed Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa six years ago has been arrested along with four other suspects.
The breakthrough in the six-year investigation was announced by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Monday afternoon, after five suspects were arrested earlier in the day. The arrests took place between 8am and 10am Monday morning in Gauteng and Kwa Zulu-Natal.
According to Cele, who blamed the media for delays in the murder case, police will also be considering opening cases of defeating the ends of justice against those suspected of leaking various aspects of the investigation over the years.
Meyiwa was shot in front of his girlfriend, musician Kelly Khumalo at her Vosloorus home in 2014, opening up a frenzy of speculation about the circumstances surrounding the alleged robbery, which some believed had more to it.
Police Commissioner General Khehla Sithole said more suspects were expected to be arrested soon.
“Of the five suspects that the minister has just outlined, one of them is the key suspect for having pulled the trigger in the Senzo Meyiwa case,” said Sithole, adding that the arrest was backed up by forensic evidence connecting the suspect to the scene as well as the weapon believed to have been used.
“This investigation continues and we believe there may be more arrests effected.”
After years without a single arrest in the Meyiwa case, the police established a Cold Case Unit to deal with high profile cases which had yet to be closed.
While Cele said he hoped the arrests were the start of a process to bring closure for the Meyiwa family, he blasted the media for publishing leaked information about the case, which he believed were attempts by insiders to derail the investigation.
“We really condemn these leaks and strongly believe that information may have been leaked in an attempt to derail the investigations. This is why moving forward, the investigation team will be considering opening a case or cases of defeating the ends of justice to ensure such leaks never occur again.”
Sithole denied the arrests were delayed to wait for the exact day of the anniversary of Meyiwa’s death, saying it was a coincidence the arrests took place on Monday. “It’s something that has coincidentally went together with the cracking of the case. It’s not that we have planned to make this announcement today, because it is the anniversary.”
Journalists grilled Cele and Sithole on how the case could have taken this long when information about the case was widely available. “Information was there, but information doesn’t take us to court. Evidence (does),” replied Cele. The minister was expected to update the family about the investigation on Monday evening at 6pm.