PRETORIA — Zimbabwe and South African law enforcement agents appear at odds after the neighbouring country set up a crack team of detectives to open fresh investigations into the death of Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s daughter, Zanele.
Zanele died in Cape Town a fortnight ago and the Zimbabwe government has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the way the investigation has been handled by the South African police.
On Tuesday night, Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko called on a three-member team of detectives from Zimbabwe’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) homicide squad to intensify their investigations.
The team, led by Chief Superintendent Nyaradzai Majachani, head of the CID homicide division, and Superintendent Tachiona, is said to have requested a second postmortem, which was done last Thursday.
A source close to the SA probe yesterday dismissed foul play as the cause of death of the 20-year-old University of Cape Town student.
“The preliminary autopsy report has been concluded and ruled out any foul play. Her death might have been caused by alcohol poisoning. We’re also looking into reports that she tried to commit suicide twice and ended up in rehab last year as a result of alcohol abuse,” the source said.
“We are just waiting on the toxicology report.”
A second source confirmed to The New Age: “It remains unofficial that some internal organs burst as a result of excessive drinking.”
Family spokesperson Simiso Mlevu, however, confirmed they were still seeking answers and were hoping the new team from Zimbabwe would establish the cause of Zanele’s death.
Presidential Press secretary George Charamba confirmed the move, but stressed they had no intention to subvert the South African police’s efforts.
“It can only be a government-to-government arrangement. We have an obligation to demonstrate such effort to our citizens. It doesn’t, in anyway, question the efficiency of South African police,” Charamba said.
He said the Zimbabwean detectives would work under their South African counterparts.
“They will work under the SAPS [South African Police Service]. They will do this through Interpol,” he said.
However, a senior police officer in Pretoria said they were in the dark about the involvement of Zimbabwean detectives.
“We will arrest them if they just barge into South Africa. There are procedures that need to be followed,” he said.
Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa also said Cape Town police, who have been investigating the matter, were unaware of the Zimbabwean investigators.
“It would have to be intergovernmental because they cannot just barge into the country. You will have to check with the Presidency.”
The Presidency’s spokesperson Bongani Majola also said they were in the dark about the Zimbabwe detectives. — thenewage.co.za