Five years of heartbreak: Sam Meyiwa’s fight to the death to get justice for Senzo

Sam Meyiwa. (Getty/Gallo Images)
Sam Meyiwa. (Getty/Gallo Images)

He died with a hole in his heart.

Sam Meyiwa died on Monday morning from a second stroke following his first one in August 2018.

Drum had several  interviews with the distraught father following the death of his son in 2014.

The beloved Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was shot and killed during an armed robbery at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s house in Vosloorus more than four years ago.

However, after so many years, it appears police are no closer to arresting his killers.

This is the reality Sam Meyiwa faced daily, and even though it was hard for him, he vowed to keep fighting until his last breath – and so he did.

Read more: ‘We’re not coping’ – Sam Meyiwa on Senzo’s ‘cold case’

Speaking to DRUM in 2018, Sam said: "I’m not worried about people who speak behind my back because some of them don’t know the pain of losing a child."

"I’m not overreacting, and I don't want the spotlight. If I don't make a noise, no one will. I shall not fold my arms and keep quiet. I'll fight until the end."

The pain of losing his son in such a horrific manner was unfortunately not the only pain he lived through.

Senzo was the breadwinner in his family, and looked after his parents and siblings, so much that he had started the process of building them a beautiful home, big enough to accommodate them and the rest of the family members who lived with his parents.

Read more: Sam Meyiwa on Senzo’s unfinished family home: ‘It is in ruins’

"He knew I was no longer comfortable living in the township because of the noise," Sam told DRUM.

"I guess that's one of the reasons he built that house."

Senzo loved the area, Sam added.

"He knew we were getting old and he wanted us to age gracefully at Adams Mission. We live in a four-room house that's too small for all of us and Senzo wanted a place to accommodate everyone."

But after Senzo's murder, the half-built home stood as a painful reminder to Sam of how much his son loved his family but couldn’t complete his dream of seeing them in the home he was building for them.

"Now all those dreams have been shattered. He will never see the final product of his work. We don't have money to finish the house. Sometimes I'm tempted to sell the whole structure and move on with my life. But I know I can't do that because I'd be defying my son's wishes," he said.

Media reports then suggested that the neighbours in the area where Senzo was building were complaining that the unfinished house had become a place where teenagers have sex, and a hideout for criminals, but Sam dismissed them, saying: "There’s no such thing as residents wanting the house demolished. I don't know where these rumours are coming from. If it was true, I would be the first one to know."

When Senzo died, Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza made an announcement that Senzo’s R4-million insurance had been paid out.

Half was due to Orlando Pirates and the other half to the Meyiwa family, as PSL players and officials are covered for injuries, and untimely death, in the insurance for the league.

But Sam said they hadn’t received a cent of that money yet. Nor had Senzo's wife, Mandisa.

"I talk to Mandisa often," Sam said.

"She hasn't received the money. At least she's working and she’s able to take care of her daughter."

Sam was so adamant about speaking out and seeking justice for his son, that he refused to be silenced by anyone, including songbird, Kelly Khumalo.

He alleged that the singer sent him a lawyer's letter, threatening to take legal action if he doesn't stop talking about her in interviews.

"I will not keep quiet because when I am quiet nothing happens. She also speaks about my son."

During his last days Senzo's father's health deteriorated so much that he hardly spoke to the media anymore. 

According to the family spokesperson Nathi Ngwenya, he's happiest moment over the past five years was at the Senzo Meyiwa Commemoration Games held at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.

 "That was the happiest I had seen him," he told Move!.

Senzo's killers have not yet been found even though Minister of Police Bheki Cele promised, during a live television interview at the beginning of 2019, that he would find Senzo’s killers "before Easter".

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