Suspect's Release Infuriates Senzo Meyiwa's Father

The father of late Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa says he will never find closure until those responsible for his son’s murder are finally arrested.

Sam Meyiwa was reacting after all charges were dropped against Zanokhuhle Mbatha, who appeared briefly in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Mbatha was arrested a few days after Meyiwa was shot dead at a house in Vosloorus on Gauteng’s East Rand late last month.

Meyiwa’s father says they’re disappointed.

“We are very disappointed because I had hoped that the police had really arrested the culprit who murdered my son. The police suspected it was him. The court had realised that it’s not him. I want the person who took my Senzo to be arrested. I will never find another Senzo; my heart has not found peace, its hurting.  Police must please ensure that they speed up the process. I will never find peace and closure until those responsible are arrested.”

Briefing the media in Johannesburg on Monday last week, the police said they were confident that Mbatha was involved in the killing of the soccer star.

However, in a turn of events, the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court withdrew charges against the 25-year-old, due to lack of evidence.

Magistrate Daniel Thulare also ordered Mbatha’s immediate release.

NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube says Mbatha was arrested after he was identified in a formal ID parade.

“Two persons out of seven that were in the room when the incident took place positively identified this person, as one of the three people that were inside the house that participated in the crime. So there is that evidence, but you have to weigh that evidence against everything else that’s in the docket. And if there is an inconsistency and some contradictions in that evidence, then obviously you realise as State that you don’t have a good prospect of a successful prosecution. It’s only fair; in fact it’s a constitutional obligation on us to withdraw the matter and allow the police to continue with the investigation.”

The withdrawal of charges is a welcome development for Mbatha’s family.

“We’re very happy, extremely happy. We’re tired of people accusing us of things that are not there. We’re happy that we’re going home with our cousin. We’re pleading with the police to find the real killers; we also want to know who they are.”

Asked if the NPA was embarrassed by the court’s decision, spokesperson Nathi Mncube said they were not.

“Well, it’s not embarrassing for NPA. If there’s no sufficient evidence we take a decision and we take it with good conscience and it’s based on the Constitution. We have to make sure that whatever we do is fair and just and that’s what we’ve done. I would not want to dwell in the investigations because remember, the investigations are continuing. So, if I’m going to have to mention that these were the types of inconsistences at this point in time, it might compromise the future investigations and I don’t think that is what we want at this point.”

Thirteen people have been questioned since Meyiwa was killed and Mbatha was the only person detained since the crime over two weeks ago.

 Now that he’s also been released, it appears it will be a while before the murder case is resolved.

 Mncube says they now have to wait for the police to continue with their investigations.

 “Remember that we rely on the police, they provide us with the information, they do the investigations. They’ve told us that they’re busy with investigations, and we will wait, when they have evidence, or they have arrested someone they’ll definitely bring the docket back to us and we’ll deal with the matter henceforth.”