There is currently no evidence that the murder of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa, which was met with shock by South Africans on Monday, was a hit, according to police.
Gauteng detective unit head Maj-Gen Norman Taioe told reporters in Johannesburg that Meyiwa was shot in his upper body in the Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, home of his girlfriend, singer and actress Kelly Khumalo, on Sunday night.
“We do not have evidence which suggests that this was a contract killing or a hit on Mr Meyiwa,” he said.
“There was no gun aimed specifically at him.”
Two men entered Khumalo’s home as the 27-year-old national team and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper and captain, and his friends, were leaving. One of the attackers waited outside.
“Senzo and his friends were leaving when the two entered the house. One of the attackers bumped into the first friend and a scuffle ensued,” Taioe said.
One shot was fired inside the house, and two more were fired randomly outside. The three then fled the scene with a stolen cellphone.
Meyiwa’s father Sam told reporters in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, that the bullet that had taken his son’s life had killed a part of him.
“They [the police] must make sure they get these people who killed my son. I want them in jail. I want them in custody. I want to talk to them and ask them why they killed my son. It’s like they killed myself.”
Sam said he was still battling to comprehend that his son was dead.
“I don’t know if I’m coming or going. My heart is broken. I’m just finished.”
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega announced on Monday that she had set up a multi-disciplinary task team made up of forensic, crime intelligence, and visible policing members to handle the case.
A reward of up R250,000 was being offered for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the killers.
Khumalo faced the ire of Twitter users after the shooting, with some even blaming her for Meyiwa’s death.
Hands OffBuyelekhaya said: “Whoever is investigating #Senzomeyiwa’s murder makaqale ngo [must start with] #KellyKhumalo or his wife. I smell a foot of a baboon…”
NganekaMama said: “@Kelly_Khumalo You see what messing in someone’s marriage does; you should be stoned you adulterous witch”.
However, many Twitter users defended Khumalo with Thembelihle Cele tweeting: “Shame on all of you talking smack about @Kelly_Khumalo. Regardless of what you think of her, she’s human, and she’s going through it!”
Meyiwa has a daughter with his wife Mandisa and another with Khumalo. The singer also has a child with culpable-homicide convicted hip hop singer Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye.
A confrontation between Mandisa and Khumalo reportedly ended with the singer’s arrest last year after she allegedly assaulted the wife near the Empire Road off-ramp in Johannesburg.
The case was later dismissed because she had reportedly passed the court’s diversion programme.
Meyiwa told police at the time that his wife had provoked Khumalo.
“Kelly had no idea that I was in a relationship, I didn’t reveal it to her. I should have known and done better, I have apologised to both Mandisa and Kelly for this,” Meyiwa said at the time.
Khumalo posted a picture of herself with Meyiwa to Instragram several hours before the shooting on Sunday.
After an injury to Itumeleng Khune in September, Meyiwa was appointed captain and goalkeeper of the national side. He grabbed the opportunity, playing in all four of South Africa’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers during the past two months.
At the time of his death, Meyiwa had played seven games for Bafana Bafana and only conceded one goal in Bafana’s 1-1 draw with Australia in May.
Premier Soccer League (PSL) CEO Brand de Villiers said on Monday the Soweto derby scheduled for Saturday between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates would be postponed out of respect to Meyiwa.
Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza was set to fly to Umlazi, south-west of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on Monday afternoon to meet the Meyiwa family.
“The family will direct us on how to move forward with the funeral arrangements. The funeral is most likely going to be at the weekend,” Khoza said.
Miyewa’s death was marked by shock from President Jacob Zuma, political parties, rights groups, and sporting bodies.
President Jacob Zuma said words could not explain the nation’s shock at Meyiwa’s death.
“We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose life has been taken away at the prime of his career,” he said.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said Meyiwa’s death was tragic and unnecessary, while Proteas Test captain Hashim Amla and One Day International captain AB de Villiers paid tribute to Meyiwa on behalf of the team.
The African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, the National Freedom Party Youth Movement, and the United Democratic Movement offered their condolences, and praise for Meyiwa’s prowess.
SA Football Association CEO Dennis Mumble said the association would make sure Meyiwa got “a dignified burial that he deserves”.
KwaZulu-Natal sports MEC Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha said her province was proud of “having produced such a gifted athlete to the service of the nation”, while Gauteng sports MEC Molebatsi Bopape said the country had lost “a patriot”.
SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam said: “There are no words to describe our shock and anger. A captain of a national team is respected and adored wherever he goes but in our country he is hunted down.”
Lobby group AfriForum condemned the murder, while the Afrikanerbond said it was senseless. SAPA