‘We always remember Cele’

2017-01-25 06:01
PHOTO: andrew mcfadden/boogs photography Yesterday Maritzburg United players gather at the scene of the accident that claimed the life of Mondli Cele to pay their respects to their former team-mate.

PHOTO: andrew mcfadden/boogs photography Yesterday Maritzburg United players gather at the scene of the accident that claimed the life of Mondli Cele to pay their respects to their former team-mate.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of Mondli Cele’s death, but according to Maritzburg United captain Kurt Lentjies, the players honour the midfielder before every game.

The Team of Choice gathered at the scene of the accident that claimed the life of the Bafana Bafana call-up, and also that of young SABC journalist Delisile Ngwenya in Park Drive near the Pietermaritzburg Oval last year.

“It’s a sad moment for us, and it’s a year later. But we’re grateful to God for carrying us through this year. We just came here to pay respect to Mondli, and of course his family. And the prayer, of course, was always directed towards the family, for them to grow in strength,” Lentjies said.

“What we have to do is take this to the field. We remember Mondli before every game. Before the game, the guys mention that he’s there, no matter who we play, whether it’s Pirates, home or away, he’s always with us and we always remember him,” said the skipper.

“It’s also a celebration for us as well because we have to celebrate what Mondli has done for the club. It’s an important day for us, and one that will always be remembered in the club’s history,” added Lentjies.

Cele’s untimely death came at a time the club were trying to rebuild their season following a poor start that left them rooted to the foot of the table and fighting for survival. He was seen as being central to the club’s fight for survival. At the time, then Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba said he was close to calling Cele up for the national team.

United struggled to come to terms with the death of a crucial player, and their results suffered so much that it was thought it would take a miracle for them to survive relegation.

However, they were able to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the final two games, winning against Ajax Cape Town and fellow strugglers Jomo Cosmos to save their top flight status.

Cele’s death came months after that of Ajax Cape Town defender Cecil Lolo, who was killed in an accident in Khayelitsha in October 2015. Former Bafana Bafana and Golden Arrows striker Richard Henyekane was also killed in a car accident just less than a year before that.

The Witness quoted United chairperson Farook Kadodia appealing to players to have safety on their minds whenever they were on the road.

United, under new head coach Roger de Sa, are preparing themselves for the second half of the season, and their first assignment will be a trip to Limpopo to take on Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in three weeks. They follow that up with a game at home against Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs days after that.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.