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How Can Senzo RIP?

Two weeks ago, we were treated to yet another “Meyiwa’s-killers-caught” episode, which seems to be an annual ‘event’ since that fateful and tragic evening of 26 October 2014 when “Nzori”, as Senzo Meyiwa was affectionately known in football circles, was gunned down in Vosloorus. A screaming headline read: ‘A notorious KZN hitman who killed ANC councillor also an accused in Senzo Meyiwa murder case’. 

The man in question is Fisokuhle Ntuli, who is one of the five suspects who have been behind bars for over a year now in connection with the former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain’s murder. Ntuli is said to be accused number 5 in the murder case, as the news of his identity was confirmed in Esikhaleni Regional Court, in Richards Bay, where he appeared and was to be sentenced for six murders. Speaking to the media outside the court, national police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naaido said Ntuli was one of the five suspects in the Meyiwa murder case. 

“What we also know is this accused is one of the accused in the Senzo Meyiwa murder investigation; he is accused number five there. He is also a person of interest in several other cases in Gauteng; therefore, we really welcome this conviction. We are hopeful that, as a result of this conviction, the sentencing that will be imposed on him is going to take a ruthless killer off our streets,” he said. 

On paper, this is exciting news that tempts one to believe that we are approaching closure on Nzori’s death, at long last. However, when you look at the number of previous ‘episodes’ and how our hopes were raised, only to be shattered back down, no one can argue against any pessimistic view on the so-called progress made so far, if past experience is anything to go by. Last Tuesday, October 26, marked exactly seven years since Senzo took his last breath following a gun wound that was inflicted on him in full view of the people in his company in Vosloorus, yet his family is yet to find closure and know exactly what happened that night. No one, including those who were with Senzo, has literally lived to tell the tale. We are not talking about a hit-and-run incident in the wee hours on a national road. This happened in a house with people in and outside. Not even an ordinary murder case would take this long to be finalised, but here we are, seven years later, still looking for missing pieces to put this puzzle together. 

A new date has now been set, a day before Meyiwa’s seventh anniversary since his tragic passing. The trial is set for April next year, this after the matter was postponed last Monday, a decision that has understandably not sat well with the family, who believe they were not given any particular reason for the lengthy postponement. It has been a year already since the five suspects were arrested, but the case has been dragging at a snail’s pace. As if that’s not enough, Senzo’s brother, Sifiso, alleges that there’s a cover-up job on the case and that the police have the wrong people behind bars, implying that Senzo’s killer is still at large, roaming the streets. 

Can anyone imagine what Nzori’s family has been going through since his unfortunate and untimely demise, coupled with the emotional, psychological and financial damage caused by his death and lack of closure to his murder case? Since that day, almost every year, there have been pronouncements and promises made that were never fulfilled, only to toy with the family’s, friends’ and the supporters’ hearts and emotions. It has gotten so bad that many would rather sweep this sad story under the carpet as it torments even the strongest of hearts. Such has been the sad story of Nzori’s disappearance on the surface of the earth without any trace, so to speak. The nature of his death was initially classified as a robbery gone wrong, which has since escalated to murder. As if that was not enough, the police confirmed that there was a mastermind behind Senzo’s murder, which means someone hired someone to get the then 27-year-old killed. What has since happened to the mastermind? Nothing, so far, and we don’t even know who is alleged to have been the brains behind Senzo’s murder and what their motives were. Does this not give credence to Sifiso’s claim that there’s a cover-up job on this case, with the five accused being the sacrificial lamb, when we have a date set for trial yet there’s no mention of the mastermind at all? Surely, the law enforcement agencies wouldn’t go on record confirming that someone masterminded Senzo’s killing without enough evidence and this is a too strong an allegation to leave hanging. Now, what have the Meyiwas done to deserve this treatment from our justice system? Why are their emotions toyed with so much that it seems there’s a concerted effort to ensure we never get to the bottom of this case? Isn’t there anything that anyone can do to ensure that justice is served? Now it seems like a case of “Justice delayed is justice denied” for the Meyiwa family.

Let not Senzo’s mother also go the way of all flesh not knowing what really happened and who is behind her son’s untimely death, like it was the case with his father, Sam, who, by the way, must be turning in his grave knowing that this case is still far from conclusion. He literally mourned his son to death. “All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him – Genesis 37:35. Nothing is ever going to bring back Senzo, that we know and accept, but knowing exactly what happened that night would go a long way in alleviating the pain that everyone who knew and loved him is going through. We are talking about someone’s husband, a father, son and brother – surely those who are related to Nzori deserve to know the truth. It has been seven years, not seven weeks, since Senzo died, but the closer we think we are getting to uncovering the truth about his death, the further we turn out to be. The goalposts have been shifted for far too long and it is time that our justice system’s integrity gets restored through this case and that we finally get to the bottom of Senzo’s death. Surely that’s not too much to ask, and Senzo deserves to rest peacefully. How can he do so when there’s this dark cloud hovering over his family with his case dragging for years? Let us put ourselves in the shoes of those close to them and maybe, just maybe, we will get to understand the magnitude of their pain. Losing Senzo was tough enough, but not knowing what really happened to him and not seeing justice being done is as bad as not knowing where his mortal remains are. That’s why in a murder case, the aggrieved family would take time to attend court proceedings, knowing very well that nothing said there will bring their loved one back, to hear what really happened. That’s part of their grieving process. As heartbreaking and gruesome as the details of the incident may be, that’s the only way to their closure. The Meyiwa family have been denied this important opportunity so far and remain in search of answers, seven years later. They have even lost his father in the process – surely this can’t be right! How can Senzo rest in peace? Isn’t it time for President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet to intervene? 





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