PICTURES: DBN city hall packed for Senzo memorial

By Drum Digital
31 October 2014

The Durban City Hall was packed to capacity on Friday afternoon to mourn slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa, while hundreds stood outside in the drizzle watching the memorial on a big screen.

The Durban City Hall was packed to capacity on Friday afternoon to mourn slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa, while hundreds stood outside in the drizzle watching the memorial on a big screen.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu told mourners the province shared their condolences with Meyiwa's family.

He said Meyiwa was receiving "the highest accord befitting a hero that Senzo was".

He praised Meyiwa's humility despite the fame he had achieved.

"The lesson that we must learn from him is that when you are in the limelight you should never forget your roots," he said.

Mchunu referred to several other people who had lost their lives to crime and warned that police would be catching up with the criminals "one by one".

He also took the opportunity to warn feuding taxi associations in the province that they needed to sort out their differences peacefully or the government would "intensify its action against you".

One of those who arrived to pay his respects to the fallen star was Thompson Phoswa, a former coach of Umlazi's London Cosmos.

He was the man who sent Meyiwa to Orlando Pirates for trials when he was a teenager.

"It is very painful to me, it's very bad. I think the crime is too high. This hits all of us, especially me, as I was a father figure to him at that time."

He had received a call at 10pm on Sunday from Meyiwa's elder brother Sifiso.

"At first I thought it was a joke but he was crying. I never slept the whole of that night. People were asking me all the time if it was true."

Earlier, Meyiwa's body arrived in Durban with crowds lining the streets to bid farewell to their soccer hero.

Police closed off Anton Lembede Street to traffic outside the City Hall, with eThekwini metro police and the SA Police Service creating a path allowing the vehicle with his body to pass.

People wore the T-shirts of the Soweto-based Orlando Pirates football club, the team he also captained, with some mourners wearing rival Kaizer Chiefs regalia for a memorial in his honour.

At various buildings along Anton Lembede Street, office workers and security guards stood outside their respective buildings, while others leaned out of the skyscraper buildings to see the happenings in the street below.

Meyiwa hailed from Umlazi on the outskirts of the coastal city.

He was shot dead on Sunday night by two men who entered the house of his girlfriend, singer and actress Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.

At Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium, police could be seen practising their drill routine and the bugler could be heard playing the "The Last Post".

Meyiwa's funeral is set to be held at the stadium on Saturday.

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