Nathi Mthethwa condemns killers of Bryanston couple

"We live with sick people," Nathi Mthethwa said at the memorial service for Sandile Memela's son and daughter-in-law. (Gallo)

"We live with sick people," Nathi Mthethwa said at the memorial service for Sandile Memela's son and daughter-in-law. (Gallo)

“We live with sick people,” Department of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday night, while addressing friends and family at the memorial service of married couple Wamukelwa Zuma-Memela (29) and his wife Wandy Campbell (28), who were killed last week in their Bryanston, Sandton home. Zuma-Memela is the son of department spokesperson Sandile Memela, who was seated at the front of the service.

“We do have a problem in our country,” Mthethwa admitted about crime in the country, and pointing specifically to the killing of the couple, which he referred to as a “heinous crime”.

The newly married couple were found dead in their bedroom in the early hours of Friday by a cousin who lived in a cottage on the property. 

According to IOL, the spokesperson said the killers strangled the couple with electrical wires and made off with household goods and their Audi A3 car. The car was later recovered in Natalspruit, Ekurhuleni, on Saturday.

“We’ve got to ask ourselves questions: what went wrong with us? Because the people who did this heinous crime are members of society.
They are people who lived among us,” said Mthethwa to the packed His People Church in Parktown North, Johannesburg.

‘Beyond police, security’
Mthethwa also implied that the killers knew what they were doing and that the crime was a possible hit on the couple. “Nobody just came to the Memela’s [home] ... it’s somebody who knows that there are people [at the house] and they wanted to do what they wanted to do.”

“This is beyond police, it’s beyond security; it’s about the moral fibre of our society,” Mthethwa said, adding that there is “sickness in our nation”.

Alongside friends and family who took to the podium to pay their respects to the couple ahead of the Saturday funeral, former convict turned writer, politician and motivational speaker Gayton McKenzie addressed the church. 

McKenzie fondly remembered Zuma-Memela and joked about never having eaten sushi, in reference to his relationship with Patriotic Alliance party partner and socialite Kenny “Sushi King” Kunene. 

“You should be proud today,” McKenzie said to the spokesperson. “They robbed your son of his life, but they’ve not robbed him of the legacy he has left.” Zuma-Memela was as an award-winning chef and owner of catering company Drizzle & Dazzle.

Before stepping down, Gayton enthused: “The people that did this to your son and daughter, they will be arrested, I can promise you. And with my own little contacts that I do have, I will do everything in my power to assist the police in finding these people.”

Truth will be revealed
Police are currently investigating the death of the couple. 

“We have done quite a lot of work trying to track down the perpetrators,” Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said on Tuesday while visiting the families of the dead, according to the IOL report.

“We hope that very soon we will be able to arrest the perpetrators. We are confident that with the team we have put together we will be able to arrest those people. The family want to find closure to know who is responsible for this.” 

“They also want to make sure whoever is behind the murder is arrested and goes to trial, where the truth will be revealed.” the MEC said.

According to the publication, police were unsure of how many criminals were in the house that night.

stefanie jason

stefanie jason

Following studying towards her Film & Media degree at the University of Cape Town and North Carolina State University, Stefanie Jason began work as a copy editor and writer for various South African publications, including Bona, True Love and Sowetan, as well as the Mail & Guardian. For the M&G's arts & culture supplement Friday, she writes about art, music & lifestyle when she isn't relaxing, traveling or checking out Jo'burg's many art galleries. Read more from stefanie jason

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