As tributes poured in yesterday for former Kaizer Chiefs player Lucky Maselesele following his gruesome murder, City Press has learnt that the 41-year-old striker was killed for allegedly stealing electricity cables.
Maselesele, who played for Amakhosi between 1999 and 2004, was allegedly murdered by a group of community members in Tsutsumani in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on Wednesday night.
His murder was confirmed by Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo yesterday.
Masondo said the police had received a complaint at about 11.50pm on Wednesday that community members were assaulting an unknown male.
When the police approached the scene, Masondo said the group ran away, but two suspects were apprehended.
“It’s alleged that the deceased was accused by the community of stealing electricity cables in the area. He was certified dead on the scene by the paramedics,” he said.
He revealed that the suspects had been charged with murder.
One of them, whose name was not divulged by the police, appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The case was postponed for bail applications.
“Police are continuing with the investigation,” said Masondo.
Maselesele’s friends and team-mates told City Press yesterday that they were shocked by the incident.
One friend and former team-mate at Kaizer Chiefs, Isaac Mabotsa, said he was heartbroken.
“I’m very sad. Lucky was like a brother to me. We grew up together. I’m shocked. He was a family friend, not just a friend,” said Mabotsa.
He said Maselesele had buried his mother in recent weeks.
Cosmos Zwane, a former team-mate of Maselesele’s at Thanda Royal Zulu, said he was a very nice person.
“He was always joking. He was a jolly guy. You hardly ever found him akwatile [angry], unless he wasn’t in the team – that’s how badly he wanted to play. In the dressing room, there was never a dull moment with him. He was always laughing.”
Zwane said he had heard about Maselesele’s murder at about 4pm on Friday and could not sleep that night. “I’m shattered. I just can’t believe what’s happened.”
Vina Maphosa, spokesperson for Kaizer Chiefs, said the club had also reeled in shock at the heartbreaking news.
“At this stage, all our thoughts are with his family and friends,” he said, adding that Maselesele had contributed a lot during his playing career with Kaizer Chiefs.
He had featured in about 45 matches, some of which resulted in the team lifting the trophies on which they prided themselves.
“Notably, he was in the 2001/02 BP and Coca-Cola Cup-winning team. We’ll remember him fondly as having donned the gold and black jersey and carried the Kaizer Chiefs badge in front.
“Now we remember his name at the back of his jersey. We express our deepest condolences to the entire Maselesele family and all Lucky’s friends. May his soul rest in peace,” said Maphosa.
“Romario”, as Maselesele was affectionately called, also played for Maritzburg United, Black Leopards and FC AK.
However, his time at Maritzburg saw him being banned from the game for two years after he tested positive for a banned substance.
Funeral arrangements had not yet been confirmed by the time of going to print.