The city ‘lost a gem’

2017-10-10 13:45
Maritzburg United are mourning the death of yet another young talented player in Howick-born Mlondi Dlamini, who died in a car accident on Sunday morning.

Maritzburg United are mourning the death of yet another young talented player in Howick-born Mlondi Dlamini, who died in a car accident on Sunday morning. (Gallo Images)

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The family of fallen Maritzburg United player Mlondi Dlamini are still reeling from the shock of his untimely death over the weekend.

The 20-year-old from Howick died from injuries suffered in a car crash on the N3 near Cato Ridge on Sunday morning.

He was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

In an interview with The Witness on Monday, family representative Lunga Dlamini said they could still not wrap their heads around what happened, adding that they were still too distraught to comment on the matter.

He said: “We are shattered. It’s still too soon for us to talk about this in the media. It is still surreal for us.”

The ever-smiling and talented midfielder was a hero to the pupils of his former school, Sukuma Comprehensive High School.

In his final year of school in 2015, the youngster helped the Midlands school win the KwaZulu-Natal Kay Motsepe Schools Cup and in the process was chosen as the player of the season in the Kay Motsepe League.

His former coach, Xolani Mpungose, described him as a selfless and a soft-spoken young man.

Mpungose said: “Pietermaritzburg at large has lost a gem. I worked with him for years from the time he was brought here by an academy.

“He was a very sweet and caring young man. He was a hard worker and goal driven.

“He wanted to become a professional player and he achieved that. We are still in shock and dismay.”

Dlamini joined the Team of Choice during the 2016/17 campaign, playing as a midfielder for the club’s reserve team in the Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC), where he was also nominated for the best player award.

As a result, he was promoted to the senior team, where he made six league appearances before sustaining a calf injury that kept him on the sidelines since the start of the 2017/18 season.

On the day of his death on Sunday, “Vicks”, as he was affectionately known by the soccer fraternity, was sitting in the back seat when his friend, who was driving, suddenly lost control of the silver Yaris.

This is the second successive year that Maritzburg United has lost a player in a road accident following Mondli Cele’s death in January last year.

United manager Quinton Jetto said they were still having a hard time dealing with his death.

He said the management met with players on Monday morning and have given them two days off to mourn their team-mate.

“The players were obviously sad when we met this morning [yesterday]. He was not just one of their team-mates, because we have a family environment at the club.

“They’ve lost a brother and we’ve lost a son. We are still trying to accept that he’s gone,” Jetto said.

He said the players would receive counselling.

“We will as a club provide support to the players from a psychological aspect and see who needs that sort of assistance.”

Soccer fans and club supporters have been taking to social media to send their condolences to both the club and the Dlamini family.

One Twitter user, Thabo Treasure Shela, said: “Bad news for South African football. Rest in peace Mlondi Dlamini. He was still very young. Road accidents are killing our players.”

Another fan tweeted: “Maritzburg United’s talented lad Mlondi Dlamini had so much to offer. Death never be proud.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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