PICTURES: KZN remembers Senzo

By Drum Digital
31 October 2014

Fans of slain Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa came out in droves to attend his memorial service in Durban on Friday afternoon.

The city hall was packed to capacity, leaving hundreds of mourners outside in the drizzle to watch the memorial on a big screen.

But while speakers focused on Meyiwa's achievements, some mourners seemed to use the event to vent anger against the married Meyiwa's girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, at whose house he was shot dead.

People complained on social networking site Twitter that there were unruly elements among those attending the memorial.

Nontobeko Sibisi tweeted that people were singing rude songs about Meyiwa's girlfriend.

"They singing 'Uyinja uKelly, Uwunodindwa uKelly..' = 'Kelly is a dog, Kelly is a B****..'," tweeted Sibisi.

Another user commented, "this has been hijacked by thugs!", while someone else said, "Empathy first, someone has died. Wrong place, wrong time for anti-Kelly chants".

Iam Keletso_M said: "Insulting another woman at a memorial?grown ups doing this? im befuddled!", while another tweet said, "But how come people don't get that kellykhumalo is also a victim."

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".

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 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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