No parent should be burying their own children, it is an unbearable loss as the natural order of things dictates that the young should bury the old, in an ideal world. Unfortunately, this fate has befallen the Meyiwa family, where the father – Sam – had to watch in disbelief as his son’s body was lowered into an empty grave almost five years before his own.
Last Saturday was Meyiwa Senior’s turn to depart this earth and have his body lowered to the grave, which marked the last time his family and friends would last see him in a physical form, following his last breath in the early hours of Monday morning. While the two Meyiwas’ loss can’t be quantified, the void they left is one that can - and will most certainly - never be filled. It is an open secret that Senzo’s father died an angry and disappointed man, following more than four years of empty promises to get to the bottom of his son’s tragic death that took place in the presence of more than four people.
Sam suffered a stroke that was, undoubtedly, induced by the tragic loss of his son with whom he shared such a special bond. As if the untimely passing of Nzori was not enough, that up to Sam’s last breath there was still no sign of the closure into Senzo’s passing could only have had one effect on Senior’s deteriorating health. The countless promises for justice to be done and bringing an end to the family’s misery and agony still continue to be made, even on senior’s funeral. How can Sam really rest in peace? Could he really find peace when a part of him died the moment his beloved son lost his life, so tragically? When he had to board a plane from Durban to view his son’s lifeless body and start funeral preparations, with a hope of eventually finding out what really transpired that fateful evening, of October 26, 2014, in Vosloorus. Dealing with a loss of a loved one can be a traumatic experience, one can only imagine what Sam and his family went through in the past couple of years when their emotions were, for lack of a better word, played with endless promises to get to the bottom of what really happened.
The parents lost a son, a breadwinner who was all about his family and had plans to better their lives. All of that was taken away from them in a gruesome fashion of a bullet cutting through his body, intentionally or not, yet almost five years later no one has been accountable for his death. No arrests have been made yet everyone now knows who was under the same roof where Senzo lost his life. His children lost a father, all they will grow up knowing is that their father was a famous footballer who was shot dead. “Why?” and “By who?” are two of the questions they will have no answers to.
It comes as no surprise that Senzo’s father’s health took a nosedive because there was no way he could deal with his son’s death when there was no closure. You can’t accept a situation you don’t know or understand. He needed to make sense of the untimely passing of his son before dealing with it, following with the closure and acceptance. He never got any of that and eventually died an angry and disappointed man. Why has Senzo’s case still not been resolved? Is it because there are big and influential people who are going out of their way to ensure that justice is never served for the grieving family? Are claims that the case is being blocked on purpose because of the affected parties, true? Is it because the family doesn’t have access to some of the biggest legal minds who can force the powers-that-be to puzzle together and expedite the case?
Senzo Meyiwa was a national asset, no ordinary bloke, and if his tragic passing hasn’t been resolved, despite all the information known, what are the chances of ordinary citizens truly believing in the justice system? As South Africans, why are we so quiet about Senzo’s fate? Why has it been so easy for us to move on and turn a blind eye to what the family of one of our favourite sportsmen is going through? Why are we not doing anything to demand justice for Senzo? How can we let Nzori down like that, after everything he has done for us?