Another soccer star lost in car accident

2016-01-21 06:00

THE devastating news of Mondli Cele’s death in the early hours of Sunday came as a shock – but was also an all too familiar reality.

Already we have lost three soccer stars in just over eight months, and that’s notwithstanding some legends in years gone by.

In April 2015, Free State Stars striker Richard Henyekane died when the car he was driving collided with a truck midway between Harrismith and Bethlehem.

Barely six months later came news of Ajax Cape Town defender Cecil Lolo’s death in an accident just outside Khayelitsha.

Two years earlier, Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thomas Madigage was killed on his way to Limpopo, having lost control of his Mercedes-Benz after swerving to avoid donkeys.

One month later, in November 2012, four Polokwane City players – Khomotso Mpakatesane, Moeketsi Nthete, Mojalefa Mphuthi and Koketso Takalo – lost their lives after the bus they were driving in on the way back from a League game was hit by an allegedly drunk driver.

In 2007 we lost two players within days of each other – Orlando Pirates and Sundowns star Gift Leremi and Black Leopards’ Mozambican defender Fernando Matola, who also had his wife and children in the car.

In August 2003 came news of Orlando Pirates starlet Lesley Manyathela’s death. Like Cele, “Slow Poison” had netted for his club just hours earlier, in the Top Eight quarter-final defeat to Jomo Cosmos. He was on his way home to Musina to visit his mother.

There have been others – Orlando Pirates duo Meschack Zwane and Clifford Moleko – and tragically, there will be more unless South Africans start taking road safetly seriously.

An estimated 17 000 people lose their lives in traffic accidents in the country every year, with the two main causes for those being speeding and drunk driving. –

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