Death devastates

2015-04-30 16:14
GONE TOO SOON: Richard Henyekane. 

Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

GONE TOO SOON: Richard Henyekane. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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RICHARD HENYEKANE has passed on after a car accident in the Free State on Tuesday (07/04).

The hard-running Free State Stars hitman, affectionately known in football circles as the “Kimberley Express”, died when the car he was travelling in collided head on with a truck and caught fire on the N5 Road between Kestell and Bethlehem.

Henyekane (31) was in the car with four other occupants at the time of the accident – they all died instantly.

This was confirmed by Sgt. Christopher Mophiring, who said Henyekane and those with him were apparently travelling from Qwaqwa to Bethlehem.

“There were three females and two males in the car at the time of the accident. Unfortunately, all five of them lost their lives. We don’t have the names of the other four people at this stage, but we will divulge their names once we have tracked down their next of kin,” Mophiring told Express.

“The driver of the truck was admitted to hospital with minor injuries while the assistant driver, who was asleep when the accident happened, escaped without injuries.

“The exact detail surrounding the cause of the accident and preceding events are still unclear. But we are investigating a case of culpable homicide.”

Mike Mokoena, the owner of Stars, said they were saddened by the sudden death of Henyekane.

“It is hard to accept that Richard is no more. I don’t know whether this is bad luck or what. He leaves us at a time when we are battling relegation. Everybody in the team is devastated,” said Mokoena.

“He was one of the important players in the team. We are going to miss him. May his soul rest in peace.”

Mokoena and his entourage from Stars met with Henyekane’s family in Kimberley yesterday.

Henyekane’s death comes four months after his brother Joseph passed away after a short illness. He joined Stars on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns in January 2014.

The Henyekane brothers both played for Lamontville Golden Arrows.

Henyekane helped Stars to avoid relegation last season. He played his last match for Ea Lla Koto when they were defeated by Amazulu in Durban on Saturday (28/03). He came on as a substitute in the 70th minute, replacing Bokang Thlone.

Apparently Henyekane was driving Thlone’s car at the time of his death.

The Kimberley Express made 17 appearances in the Absa Premiership this season.

He also earned nine caps for Bafana Bafana since making his debut at the age of 26.

Richard Henyekane

Full name: Tebogo Richard Henyekane

Born: On 28 September 1983 in Galeshewe, Kimberley

Nickname: Richie Rich, Kimberley Express

Original clubs: Naughty Boys (amateur team), Basotho Tigers, Premier United

Professional debut: Premier United-Hellenic 0 Jomo Cosmos 0 (on 8 February 2004)

First goal scored: Golden Arrows 1 Manning Rangers 1 (on 19 January 2005)

Honours: 9 Senior international caps; 2008-’09 PSL top goalscorer; 2009 MTN 8 winner

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