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South African Senzo Meyiwa was a Reliable Goalkeeper, But in Death He’s Leaking in Goals

 Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa coffin arrives at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban
Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa coffin arrives at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

Senzo Meyiwa might have been a very reliable goalkeeper for club and country, but in death he appears to be leaking in goals. There is a raging war among the three families he left behind, the extent to which Senzo himself perhaps never envisaged.

On one side of the trajectory is Senso’s family: father, Samuel Meyiwa, sister and extended family. On the other side are his estranged wife, Mandisa Mkhize and their two daughters, and trapped in the middle is his mistress, Kelly Khumalo with Aphelele, their 10-month-old daughter. Meyiwa’s nine-year-old daughter from a previous relationship remains an onlooker.

On Wednesday, 29 October 2014, Senzo Meyiwa’s father arrived from Umlazi, Kwa-Zulu Natal to Johannesburg, accompanied by his sister Zanele Meyiwa and other relatives. The mission was to collect from Kelly’s home the soccer star’s belongings: his clothes and two vehicles, silver BMW X6 and red VW Golf 5. On their way, they were joined by Orlando Pirates boss, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza’s wife and a police escort.

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On arriving at the townhouse in Mulbarton, southern Johannesburg they met a brick wall. According to The Star Johannesburg, the Security guards had to knock on the door several times before they opened, and the unwelcome guests were confronted with “a barrage of taunts and insults” from Kelly, her sister Zandi and mother Ntombi.

 Senzo Meyiwa and Mandisa Mkhize
Senzo’s father Samuel Meyiwa arrives with his sister Zanele Meyiwa at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo Credits: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele

“They were shouting at the police, accusing them of siding with Meyiwa’s family and harassing them. They accused the police of not being sensitive to the fact that they were still traumatised. They refused to give anything except the ID book back,” reports The Star.

The Meyiwa’s family eventually left without accomplishing their mission. They decided to take legal action and went to court. Today, 4 November 2014 a court order was granted to the Meyiwa family to collect Senzo’s BMW and Golf from the goalkeeper’s girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. According to Drum South Africa, “the Meyiwa family collected the cars and some of his belongings…” without fuss.

It leaves many people to wonder why Kelly and her family would be so hostile to the father of murdered Senzo, a man she claimed loved her deeply and was even planning to marry her.

The singer and actress had told The Sunday Times South Africa:

“He was willing to do anything for me. His heart was with me. Senzo loved me and that he wanted to be part of my life, and I wanted to be part of his life.

“We were talking about it. Let me tell you what the issue was. He was still busy with Bafana Bafana and never got an opportunity to go down to Durban to tell his family what his plans were, but he told his pastor and they were supposed to have gone next week.”

 Senzo Meyiwa and Mandisa Mkhize
Senzo Meyiwa and Mandisa Mkhize. Picture: DRUM Magazine

According to the Daily Mail News, Sam Meyiwa is blaming Kelly Khumalo for the death of his son, arguing that if Senzo never got involved with her he would still be alive.

“She likes to talk, she goes to the media and talk, she was supposed to phone us and tell us the story about what happened – but they did not do this, I do not want her at my house and I do not want her here,” said Meyiwa senior.

Senso’s father is so angry with the singer that he even banned her from attending his son’s funeral.

“The service is open to anyone who wants to come to pay their last respects to Senzo, but that girl [Kelly Khumalo] is not welcome. She mustn’t even think about coming,” Meyiwa’s father, Samuel was quoted as saying.

On Saturday, 1 November 2014 , Senzo Meyiwa was given a State funeral. It was reported in the local media that more than 30, 000 people converged at the Moses Machida Stadium Durban to give the slain Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain a hero’s farewell. He was later laid to rest at the Chesterville Heroes Acre at Mayville cemetery outside Durban . Kelly and her daughter did stay stay away from Senzo’s funeral, although it is not quite clear if it was based on Sam Meyiwa’s warning, as she had also told her biographer, Melinda Ferguson, that she had no intention of attending.

 Senzo Meyiwa and Kelly Khumalo
Senzo Meyiwa and Kelly Khumalo

However, unlike Kelly Khumalo, Mandisa Mkhize, 28, was at her husband’s funeral to bide him a final farewell. Although it was reported in the local media that she had attended against her wishes, as she had to be persuaded to attend by Senzo’s father.

Mandisa’s friend told The Citizen South Africa: “Senzo’s father persuaded her to come down to Durban for the funeral. In her view, there was no reason to attend as Senzo was already staying with another woman at the time of his death.”

A few days before her husband was murdered in the home of his mistress, Mandisa Mkhizetold City Press South Africa that she had given up on Senzo.

“I respect Senzo’s decision to be with Kelly Khumalo. We did not end things on a sour note. He is the father of my daughter and, despite all, he is not a bad person. I wish him well; I am at peace with everything.” She wrote in a text message.

 Orlando Pirates players singing and saying goodbye to their captain Senzo Meyiwa at his funeral held at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban
Orlando Pirates players singing and saying goodbye to their captain Senzo Meyiwa at his funeral held at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

The South African police arrested Zanokuhle Mbatha last week. He appeared in the Boksburg Magistrates Court on Friday, and remanded in custody until his appearance next week. But while the South African police are very close to solving one of South Africa’s high-profile murder cases, the rift in the families Senzo Meyiwa left behind is far from being over.



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