Shock at Meyiwa's death

By Drum Digital
27 October 2014

President Jacob Zuma, political parties, and sporting bodies expressed shock on Monday at the death of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.

The 27-year-old national team and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper and captain was shot dead at about 8pm in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, on Sunday.

"We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose life has been taken away at the prime of his career. The law enforcement authorities must leave no stone unturned in finding his killers and bring them to justice," Zuma said in a statement.

"Words cannot express the nation's shock at this loss."

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SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan said the association's thoughts were with Meyiwa's family, his club, and the "football family".

"Shakes Mashaba [Bafana Bafana's coach] was going to announce his squad to face Sudan and Nigeria on Thursday and I would like to believe Senzo's name was going to be the first because he has been a pillar of Bafana Bafana in the recent matches, making incredible saves to keep the team in the match," Jordaan said.

Safa CEO Dennis Mumble said the news was "unreal".

"We will be part of the proceedings to ensure that he gets a dignified burial that he deserves. As soon as all logistics are in place we will inform the media and public," he said.

The African National Congress said it joined South Africa in mourning Meyiwa.

"The brutal killing of this rising star has left our nation shocked, saddened, and all that much poorer for the loss of this young and promising athlete," spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.

The Democratic Alliance said it had high hopes Meyiwa would have led "a youthful new-look Bafana Bafana" to revive South African football.

"His incredible influence on Bafana Bafana's current form is underscored by the fact that he was the only goalkeeper yet to concede a single goal in the first four fixtures of the African Cup of Nations qualifying matches," DA MP Solly Malatsi said.

The Economic Freedom Fighters said his death reflected the "deep crisis of violent crime that the country is facing".

"He was a great goalkeeper, a great captain, and many say a kind human being," EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.

The National Freedom Party Youth Movement said Meyiwa's death was a sign that criminals were "calling the shots" in the country.

"We no longer need to have meetings in fancy boardrooms to discuss crime. Let's come out of our comfort zones and hunt down criminals and kill them. We need to protect each other by eliminating criminals in our areas," it said.

Gauteng sports MEC Molebatsi Bopape said: "We have lost a patriot, a committed sportsman who evidently had a bright future on and off the pitch."

United Democratic Movement president Bantu Holomisa said Meyiwa was a "rare species" in the field of football.

"As we all know, leaders come and go but their views and contribution towards such views, remain with current and future generations to be emulated."

Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele said Meyiwa's death came just as his soccer career was blossoming.

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the country lost a sports hero.

"Not only was he one of the foremost ambassadors of South African sport, but also a role model for aspiring young soccer stars," IFP MPL Nhlanhla Msimango said.

Cricket SA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the deaths of Meyiwa and Olympic medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who died in an accident on Friday, was a "sad time" for South African sports.

Proteas Test captain Hashim Amla and One Day International captain AB de Villiers paid tribute to Meyiwa on behalf of the team.

The SA Rugby Union (Saru) also paid its respects to Meyiwa.

"The loss of any life is sad and tragic and along with the South African Football Association and everyone else in South African sport we'd like to pay our respects to Senzo today," said Saru president Oregan Hoskins.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said Meyiwa's death was tragic and unnecessary.

SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam said: "There are no words to describe our shock and anger. A captain of a national team is respected and adored wherever he goes but in our country he is hunted down."

The ANC Youth League proposed that the Premier Soccer League and soccer authorities consider postponing the derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates this coming Saturday.

Absa, who sponsors the local premiership, also mourned Meyiwa.

"It is heartbreaking to have learnt of the passing of our sporting star," Barclays Africa Group chief executive Maria Ramos said.

Lobby group AfriForum condemned the murder.

"The murder of Meyiwa once again highlights the fact that crime in South Africa is reaching crisis proportions..." CEO Kallie Kriel said.

Meyiwa was shot at singer and actress Kelly Khumalo's home.

He was reportedly shot while protecting her.

No arrests had yet been made and police were investigating a case of murder.

Police have offered a R150,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega will address the media about the investigation into Meyiwa's shooting later on Monday.

-SAPA

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