It seems that the dust in South Africa does not have a chance to settle down. Just as the sporting fraternity was beginning to accept the death of world class athlete and former world champion in the 800m category, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, another sportsman has died! Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, who was also the captain of the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, was shot dead by gunmen in a South African township in what appears to be a botched robbery.
The 27- year old goalkeeper was shot dead on Sunday at around 8 pm evening by two men who were allegedly trying to steal a cellphone. According to media reports, Meyiwa was visiting a house in Vosloorus when two men entered and demanded a cellphone. Another man was reportedly waiting outside. It was not immediately clear how the soccer star ended up being shot but it was reported that the rest of the people in the house were unharmed. After the shooting, the three men are reported to have fled the scene and are said to be still at large.
Police reported in a tweet that they could confirm that the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper had been shot and declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The police further announced that they were offering a reward of R150 000 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
The Orlando Pirates shot-stopper had also recently been appointed the national team goalkeeper in the absence of Itumeleng Khune, who is out because of an injury. He had also filled Khune’s shoes as the skipper of the national team. In the four matches in which he was between the goals, Bafana Bafana did not concede a single goal and are on the verge of qualifying for the Afcon soccer finals, which are likely to be held in Morocco early next year.
Commenting on Senzo Meyiwa’s demise, the owner of the Orlando Pirates Football Club, Dr Irvin Khoza said in a statement that Senzo’s death was a loss whichever way one looked at it, that is, to his family, extended family, Orlando Pirates and the nation as a whole.
The news of his passing on prompted sympathetic messages of condolences on social media. Many of those commenting on Meyiwa’s death have highlighted the bad South African gun culture. This has been in the spotlight for the past year and a half with the trial of another sportsman and paralympian, Oscar Pistorius, who shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.