Murder still a mystery

2019-05-22 06:02
Lebogang MmihiPhoto: Supplied

Lebogang MmihiPhoto: Supplied

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Mystery surrounds the murder of a popular young football referee, Lebogang Mmihi (21) of Bloemfontein.

The deceased was one the promising match officials of the South African Football Association (Safa) in Bloemfontein, Mangaung. He was reportedly killed two weeks ago, on 5 May, by an assailant who fatally stabbed him with a knife.

Many find it strange that the two women who reportedly accompanied Mmihi apparently could not identify the attacker. This has caused uproar among members of the community the deceased lived with in Batho.

Strong sentiment expressed is that the community should be blamed for Mmihi’s murder as it is believed he is another victim of a community allowing the criminal onslaught directed at innocent citizens to continue. The sentiment arose from reports that the killer is “unknown”, while there were possible eyewitnesses. The attacker reportedly did not take anything from Mmihi during the fatal stabbing.

The football fraternity mourns the tragic death of the upcoming referee. Lehlohonolo Maduna, Safa’s general secretary of the Bloemfontein Local Football Association, said the association was still reeling from the murder.

“Lebo as we called him, became a referee by default. There was no referee to officiate a match in which his team, Mangaung, was featured. He took the whistle to officiate against his own team and he did exceptionally well. We decided forthright to recruit him, and he was further recommended with other match officials for mentorship under knowledgeable Enoch “The Great” Molefe. Lebo never looked back and he proved throughout he had what it takes as a future match official.”

Mmihi quit playing soccer actively in 2012 to join the league of referees, having played for the Mangaung Unite development team. His ability to understand the laws of the game saw him becoming one of the brightest referees in the Free State.

The police would not confirm if there was any arrest yet.

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