"I'm happy he is dead: Former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates footballer Bennett Chenene"


Former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates footballer, Bennett Chenene, expressed his jubilation upon hearing the news of the death of the man accused of murdering his sister, Nomvula. Speaking with conviction and emotion outside the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court, where the murder trial was scheduled to commence, Chenene did not hold back in expressing his sentiments.

"He must go to the nearest hell. I am happy that we have been spared from the pain of hearing how he brutally killed my sister," Chenene declared. The accused, Sizwe Buthelezi, who had been in custody, met his demise, much to the satisfaction of the grieving family.

Chenene did not mince his words, asserting, "His outstanding death certificate is the only thing to confirm his death and advance my happiness further. He killed my sister like a dog." The bereaved footballer's mother also shared in his happiness, both relieved that justice had seemingly been served.

Reflecting on their painful journey, Chenene conveyed the love and acceptance his family had for his late sister, regardless of her sexuality. "We have been through considerable pain. Nomvula was part of us. We loved her despite her sexuality. We accepted her as she was. Nobody had the right to end her life," he lamented. Nomvula's untimely death has left an irreplaceable void within their hearts.

The tragic chain of events began in December 2022 when Nomvula went missing after visiting a local tavern in Palm Springs, located south of Johannesburg. It is alleged that Buthelezi abducted her on her way home, taking her to his shack in Lake Side, Orange Farm. It was there, just across the main road from the drinking establishment, that he mercilessly ended her life and concealed her body.

Desperate for answers and her safe return, Chenene even offered a reward of R3,000 for any information that could lead to finding his sister. It was only three months later, in March 2023, that Buthelezi's girlfriend reportedly tipped off the police about the horrific fate that had befallen Nomvula. Both Buthelezi and his girlfriend were subsequently arrested, and Buthelezi eventually led the authorities to the shallow grave where he had buried Nomvula's remains, which were later confirmed through DNA testing.

Chenene strongly believes that his sister's murder was a hate crime targeting a member of the LGBTQI+ community. According to him, Buthelezi was enraged when Nomvula expressed her love for his girlfriend. Dispelling rumors that Buthelezi's lover had informed the family about the murder, Chenene clarified, "That's a lie. She didn't inform us. The police came to our home and told us that she had reported to them that Buthelezi killed and buried my sister in his shack."

Seeking closure, Chenene insisted that Buthelezi's girlfriend owes them answers. "She must tell us what and how Buthelezi confessed to her [about why and how] he killed Nomvula. She must also tell why it took her three months to confess to the police. If she played a role in Nomvula's murder, she must be held accountable," he demanded.

Despite the tragedy, Chenene revealed that Buthelezi's family has not reached out to offer their condolences or engage in any form of communication. As the accused awaited trial at Leeuhof Prison in Vereeniging, rumors reached Chenene that prison wardens had visited Buthelezi's residence three months prior to inform his landlord of his demise. Initially skeptical, Chenene's doubts were dispelled when Buthelezi's landlord visited their home and reported that he had indeed passed away at Sebokeng Hospital.

Buthelezi's death has raised questions, as the prosecutor, Amukelani Rikhosto, informed Chenene that he had not received proof from the Department of Correctional Services regarding his demise. Rikhosto stated that he required the death certificate before removing the matter from the court's docket. Chenene, however, was assured by Rikhosto that confirmation of Buthelezi's death or existence would be obtained before the next court date, set for June 25.

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