National police commissioner Gen Kehla Sitole said the investigation into the death of Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was being conducted by a team led by a good and capable investigator.
The police made this comment on Monday in response to an article in the Sunday Independent the day before.
The newspaper report, which the publication said was based on seeing the "murder docket and other official records", said Meyiwa was not killed in a robbery, but was shot by one of the people present at the scene.
But Sitole's office described this as "misleading, to say the least". It said the article contained a "myriad of assumptions, untruths and innuendos which had the potential of causing unnecessary uncertainties".
The article stated that “the former lead investigator in the case, Col Bongani Gininda, is said to have withheld a crucial statement he had received in 2017 on who murdered Meyiwa and why”.
In the statement, the police said Gininda was heading a team which was relooking at cold cases in terms the SAPS cold case intervention programme, as pronounced by the national commissioner.
“Gininda is still the lead investigator of the team which is investigating the murder of (Senzo) Meyiwa. He has never been removed or replaced as the investigator of the Senzo Meyiwa matter since he was tasked with this investigation in 2018,” police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo said.
He said Sitole was regularly updated on the investigation, and was satisfied with the work done so far.
Naidoo said the article was "nothing short of story-telling based primarily on assumptions which could only be interpreted as intended to mislead the nation".
Sitole asked South Africans, and the media in particular, to allow the investigation to take its course unhindered.
“However, we will welcome any information that can help bring us closer to resolving this case,” Sitole said.
Naidoo said Gininda had a wealth of experience in criminal investigations after having successfully brought down one of this country's biggest criminal underworld figures, Radovan Krejcir.
“Therefore, everyone may rest assured that this investigation is being done by a team led by a good and capable investigator,” said Sitole.
David Loxton, CEO of Loxton Attorneys, said it's very difficult just to go on media reports because one enters the realm of pure speculation.
Loxton named some concerning features about the case, including the slow progression of the investigation.
"What the reports seem to be saying is police took statements and seem to have not taken the case any further," said Loxton.
"Secondly, what the reports seem to be saying is the witnesses claim that people broke in from outside the house and did the shooting, but eyewitnesses, neighbours, say that's not true. It must have happened from someone within the house.
The veteran lawyer said Kelly Khumalo and all those who were in the house on the fateful day should be individually heavily interrogated.
"Things don't add up and one would have thought that under those circumstances, the police would have interrogated those people much further as opposed to five years on [where] we are still finding the case is going absolutely nowhere," Loxton said.