Star striker laid to rest

2015-04-30 17:04
RANTSI MOKOENA (general manager), Themba Sithole (assistant coach), Glenn Verbauwhede (goalkeeper), Maqebo Mthimkhulu (administrative manager) and Walter Khumalo (goalkeeper coach of Free State Stars) carry Richard Henyekane’s coffin during his funer

RANTSI MOKOENA (general manager), Themba Sithole (assistant coach), Glenn Verbauwhede (goalkeeper), Maqebo Mthimkhulu (administrative manager) and Walter Khumalo (goalkeeper coach of Free State Stars) carry Richard Henyekane’s coffin during his funer

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KIMBERLEY. – Hundreds of mourners from different spor-ting codes gathered at Verge-noeg in Kimberley to pay last tribute to the late Free State Stars’ striker, Richard Henyekane, who had died in a car accident a week ago.

The “Kimberley Express”, as he was nicknamed, was laid to rest in the ABC Cemetery in Galeshewe on Saturday (11/04).

The former Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns striker passed away in the early hours of Tuesday (07/04) after the car he was driving had collided head-on with an oncoming truck on the N5, just outside Kestell en route to Bethlehem from Qwaqwa.

The four other occupants of the car were identified as Paul Mofokeng (26), Nthabiseng Motsoetsoe (20), Ayanda Matete (20) and Mpho Moloi (18).

Prior to the funeral, an emotional memorial service was held in the Bethlehem Town Hall on Thursday (09/04).

At the service, Stars’ captain, Paulos Masehe, said although Henyekane was now in God’s hands, he would always remain in their hearts.

“After the Amazulu game (over the weekend in Durban), he was the one who was telling me that we should fight. God took him at a time when we needed his experience to score goals and take us out of the relegation zone. Let’s dedicate all the remaining games to Henyekane. We should fight for him,” said the skipper who was in tears.

Andrew Kanyaza, Henyekane family spokesperson, said the family had asked the team to fight and win their remaining games.

“We will rejoice and forget the pain if you fight out of the relegation zone. Mike (Mokoena team chairperson and owner), you have done a good job by bringing our son to your team,” he said.

Rantsi Mokoena, the managing director of the team, said he would like to send his condolences to the other families. “You will never understand the pain we are going through. But time heals all wounds,” he said.

Mokoena said there was no way that any of the people who had been in the car could have survived.

“That was one of the most horrific accidents. We lost Lesly Manyathela, Thomas Madigage, Gift Leremi and others in the same way.

“All those players died in an accident in the early hours of the morning,” he said.

He urged the players to stop driving at night.

Kinnah Phiri, the team mentor, said it was very difficult to find words to express his sorrow.

“We lost a good player. He was a good player and very obedient at training. He was a player I believed in and relied on,” he said.

Phiri said he had not slept since Henyekane’s death.

“He left us when everyone in the team needed him,” Phiri lamented

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