Pretoria – Leaders of the sports fraternity and the South African government say Senzo Meyiwa’s death means the time has come for South Africa to build a new society, in which freedom reigns with no space for crime.
The Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, said Meyiwa contributed to the dignity of the country, but crime cost his life.
“The flower that was blooming has been withered away by the greed of a senseless gunman. (If) greed was not such a destructive force, the multitudes that have gathered here today would be going about their daily chores,” Minister Radebe said on Saturday.
Minister Radebe, who delivered a eulogy at Meyiwa’s funeral, said all South Africans from all walks of life have come to relieve the Meyiwa family of the heavy burden of loss.
“Today all South Africans are the Meyiwa’s… the Mulaudzi’s… the Mwelase’s. Collectively and equally, these families deserve our eternal gratitude as South Africans because they borrowed us their children,” he said.
Meyiwa’s funeral occurred on the same day as the Olympic medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of Limpopo. The two sportsmen were both granted Provincial Official Funerals.
Minister of Public Service and Administration, Collins Chabane, delivered a eulogy at Mulaudzi’s funeral.
Meyiwa, who was Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates Captain, was today laid to rest at Heroes Accre in Chesterville, following his murder last Sunday in Vosloorus, Johannesburg.
His funeral was attended by over 30 000 people from across South Africa, who gathered at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to bid him farewell.
Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula urged Bafana Bafana to make Senzo’s wish come true, by qualifying for Orange Cup of Nations on their match against Morocco.
Minister Mbalula said Sports and Recreation South Africa will also assist in the fight against crime.
“We will never rest until we find all those who killed Senzo. We will work tirelessly to make sure that we fight crime as the Department of Sports and Recreation,” he said.
Both government and sports fraternity say Meyiwa was a young man who oozed with positivity and had much influence on both the soccer players and the entire society, at only 27-years of age.
The Founder of Kaizer Chiefs FC, Kaizer Motaung, spoke on behalf of the National Soccer League, saying if it was not for crime Meyiwa would still be alive.
“The question that remains when Senzo is gone is… What do we do about the crime, what do we do about the perpetrators?” he asked.
“Somebody somewhere knows the perpetrators who committed this crime. We need to inculcate a new culture in society. We should not celebrate crime and criminals. If somebody has information about this, he or she should not keep the information from the police, otherwise that person is equally guilty of that particular crime,” Motaung said.
Motaung commended Orlando Pirates for recruiting Meyiwa at the age of 13-years and grooming him to the hero he has been.
“This is what we call nation building. We thank you Orlando Pirates,” he said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said Meyiwa represented the future of KZN, the nation and the world.
Premier Mchunu condemned criminal activities in KZN and the country.
“The criminals are not in control… we are in control. We are in full control and we will continue to fight them in all their ways,” he said.
He said all criminals must be arrested and jailed.
He said although the country gathered at the stadium to mourn for Meyiwa’s death, Meyiwa actually opened the eyes to the possibility of building a new society that is true to its founding ideas of a free and peaceful society.
Suspect arrested for Meyiwa’s murder
Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man has been arrested following the murder of Meyiwa.
Zanokuhle Mbatha was arrested after police received information about a number of suspects.
Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale of South African Police Services (SAPS) said an identity parade was conducted on Thursday, during which some of the witnesses identified one person.
“During consultation with the prosecution team, it was decided that this person should be arrested and charged on the basis of the positive identification by some of the witnesses,” he said.
He said Mbatha has been remanded in custody and will reappear in court on 11 November.
“We are continuing with our investigations,” Makgale said.
He added that though a lot of progress have been made, it is important to note that Mbatha is a suspect at the moment.
“We therefore must allow due process of the law to take its course,” he said.
Makgale said investigations are at a very sensitive stage at the moment and SAPS will only be in a position to update the nation on Monday. – SAnews.gov.za