Star killed in crash

2015-04-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The South African sporting community was in shock yesterday with the news that 31-year-old Free State Stars striker Richard Henyekane had died in a car accident in the early hours of the morning.

Henyekane’s death came just five months after the sudden death of his brother, Joseph, who had represented South Africa at U23 level.

Safa president Danny Jordaan, who was in Cairo attending a CAF Congress, led the tributes.

“Another soldier has fallen. Richard’s death comes at a time when we were not really done grieving the passing away of his brother Joseph. Safa would like to send out our deepest sympathies to the Henyekane family for their heartbreaking loss. We can never know how much pain you are in but just know that you are in our prayers and we ask that the Almighty grant you strength in these trying times,” said Jordaan.

“While we don’t know yet full details of circumstances surrounding Richard’s tragic death, the message to all is be careful on the roads; be extra vigilant. We are losing our people in this fashion at a rapid rate — we need to do something. May his soul rest in peace.”.

Henyekane, who played as a striker or attacking right wing, had his best days with Golden Arrows in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in the 2009/10 season.

During that period he bagged three hat-tricks, ending with 19 league goals, as well as a further Telkom Knockout hat-trick, and ended up with a total of 23 goals for the season.

Henyekane then joined Mamelodi Sundowns on a lucrative three-year contract. His team set a remarkable record in the Nedbank Cup when they beat Powerlines FC 24-0, with Henyekane scoring five of the goals.

He made nine official appearances for Bafana Bafana.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) also expressed their sadness

Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of a great footballer who contributed immensely to football in South Africa. May his soul rest in peace and our thoughts are with him and his family during these extremely sad times.”

Free State Stars released a statement yesterday.

“Free State Stars hereby expresses its heartfelt condolences on the passing away of star striker Richard Henyekane in the early hours of this morning.

“Henyekane was travelling with four other passengers when they were involved in a tragic motor vehicle accident.

“We wish to say to the Henyekane family that they must know that we are with them at all times.

“South African football has lost yet another one of our promising players … go well ‘Kimberley Express’.”

A memorial service will take place at the Dihlabeng Town Hall, in Bethlehem, tomorrow at 12.30 pm.

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