Stars player in fatal crash

2019-04-03 06:01
Free State Stars player Sinethemba Jantjie who passed away.

Free State Stars player Sinethemba Jantjie who passed away.

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Top-flight football team Free State Stars is reeling another road tragedy in which star player Sinethemba Jantjie (30) was killed.

He was killed instantly after the vehicle he was driving crashed into a moving truck on Monday (01/04) morning.

According to Const. Puleng Lebakeng, police spokesperson, the truck was in the same lane in which Jantjie was driving in Muller Street, Bethlehem.

She said the incident reportedly happened at about 05:45. Lebakeng said Jantjie was in the company of a female occupant. She said the paramedics declared both dead on arrival at the accident scene. The female is yet to be identified.

It is still unclear what happened when the player’s vehicle crashed into the back of the moving truck.

Lebakeng said a case of culpable homicide has been opened for further investigation.

Jantjie originates from Whittlesea near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. He was part of the Stars team that won the 2018 Nedbank Cup having joined Ea Lla Koto in 2016 from the National First Division (NFD) side Mbombela United.

Rantsi Mokoena, the club’s general manager, has expressed shock at Jantjie’s dead.

“It is with great sorrow that the club reports on the passing away of one of our players, Sinethemba Jantjie,” he said.

The club will provide further details of the funeral and memorial service after meeting with the player’s family.

Messages of condolences from clubs in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and sporting federations have been pouring in.

The PSL announced that teams will observe a moment of silence for the deceased Ea Lla Koto’s player.

Jantjie adds to the list of the club’s history of tragedies.

Stars lost bright player Richard Henyekane who was killed in a vehicle accident in the early hours of 7 April 2015. He died with his girlfriend on his way from Qwa­qwa.

Henyekane was born in Kimberley and featured in South Africa’s senior men’s football team Bafana Bafana.

Stars, whose founder is Mike Mokoena, has a history of tragedies relating to road accidents dated back to 2003, the year they lost Malawian-born coach Robert Banda in a fatal crash.

Banda was in company of Zambian Freddie Mwila, who escaped with severe injuries.

Banda died on the scene of the accident between Bethlehem and Qwaqwa when their vehicle collided with a truck.

Mwila had both legs broken in the accident.

Banda arrived in South Africa in 1984 to coach Stars and guided the team to gain promotion to the Premier Soccer League in 1985.

It is with great sorrow that the club reports on the passing away of one of our players, Sinethemba Jantjie. – Rantsi Mokoena

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