Unpacking the Senzo murder case

Those who favour grit over bling for their binge watching may already have seen Netflix’s new documentary Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star. Its release has coincided with the trial of five men accused of murdering the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and captain in 2014. Meyiwa, who also played for Orlando Pirates, was shot dead under bizarre circumstances, ostensibly in a robbery. The married soccer star was killed at the Vosloorus home of his girlfriend, award winning singer Kelly Khumalo. Several other people, including his friends and Khumalo’s mother, were at the house when the shooting happened. Those present have given conflicting accounts of the events of 26 October 2014. 🏛️

The holes in the story and the glamorous, high-profile cast of characters meant the story gripped South Africans’ attention. And, as crime reporting whizz Mandy Wiener put it in her column on the case, the initially poor police work and long delays in the case have fuelled speculation about whether the current court case will deliver real justice. It’s also not yet clear who masterminded the attack. 😭

“In the absence of decisive and convincing police work and a speedy, conclusive prosecution, there has been eight years of doubt that have crept in and a general consensus that justice has been eroded in this case. This has indeed been fertile ground for speculation of corrupt cops, bribes being paid, powerful perpetrators being protected and complex cover-ups.”

The trial began on Monday; the suspects face a host of charges. The prosecution is playing its cards close to its chest, keeping the witness list a secret and remaining mum about what narrative it will present to explain the crime. Let’s hope the state can put this one to bed. In the meantime, expect to hear a lot more about that fateful night as the case unfolds. 🧐 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 11 April  2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.