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No, South African actor Kelly Khumalo has not disappeared after being named a suspect in Senzo Meyiwa murder

A viral Facebook post published on 28 October 2020 claims that South African singer and actor Kelly Khumalo has disappeared after being named as a suspect in the murder of late football player Senzo Meyiwa

“Kelly Khumalo has disappeared after hearing that the police are looking for her as she's one of the suspect about Senzo Meyiwa's death,” it begins.

“Kelly's neighbor said she saw Kelly with suitcases and she's gone.”

The post then urges readers to watch the news on the SABC 1 TV channel. It includes a photo of Khumalo with Meyiwa, who was her partner at the time of his death. 

The post has been viewed over 299,500 times since it was first published. An identical post published on the same day has been shared over 1,000 times. 

Meyiwa was a goalkeeper for South African national football team Bafana Bafana. He was shot and killed on 26 October 2014 in a suspected attempted house robbery. Khumalo was in the house with six other people when he was shot.  

Police have since arrested five suspects who have been charged with the murder, as well as with attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

Has Khumalo disappeared after being named as a suspect in the case? We checked. 

Claim traced to dodgy blog site

We could find no evidence that SABC 1 reported the story.

A Google search reveals that the claim appears to have originated on South African blog site Opera News. A story published on 28 October claims: “The are rumours going around that Kelly khumalo ran away from her home yesterday after she heard that the police are looking for her.Kelly khumalo's neighbour said that she saw her caring suitcase yesterday.”

The story also claims that Khumalo has been named as a suspect in the murder. 

Africa Check has previously fact-checked stories published by Opera News and found them to be false.

Khumalo’s Twitter account active

The story has not been reported by any credible news outlet. Khumalo’s verified Twitter account remains active, with dozens of posts on the day after the story appeared. This makes it unlikely that she is hiding from the police. 

The Sowetan reported that a leaked document from the National Prosecuting Authority had linked Khumalo to one of the suspects and called for her phone records to be obtained. But we could find no evidence that the police have formally named Khumalo as a suspect in the case. 

Khumalo has not disappeared after being named as a suspect in the murder of Meyiwa. – Naledi Mashishi


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