Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead, the SA Football Association (Safa) confirmed.
Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi confirmed the 27-year-old’s death today.
According to unconfirmed reports, Meyiwa was at his girlfriend’s home in Vosloorus, Gauteng, when a man demanded his cellphone and opened fire.
Meyiwa was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
“We have to brake (sic) normal protocol. We can confirm that Bucs keeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot and sadly declared dead on arrival at hospital,” said the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) official Twitter feed.
“There were 7 people inside the house. Two suspects went into the house, one remained outside. The 3 fled on foot after the shooting,” read another tweet from the SAPS.
“The incident happened at around 20h00, Zamo Section in Vosloorus. Reward of up to R150 000 is on offer 4 any info that can lead to arrest.”
Meyiwa was in action last night when he helped the Buccaneers defeat Ajax Cape Town 4-1 at the Orlando Stadium in their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal.
He had been a star for Bafana in recent months, and in the four Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers played to date he was yet to concede a goal, and captained the team in the absence of regular ’keeper and skipper, Itumeleng Khune.
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk tweeted: “OMG more bad news! @BafanaBafana & @Orlando_Pirates Captain Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead? I am lost for words! RIP Captain.”
Fellow Bafana player Dean Furman tweeted: “Beyond devastated at the loss of our captain & friend Senzo Meyiwa. thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends at this terrible time.”
Former Pirates teammate, Andile Jali, now playing in Belgium for K.V. Oostende, said on Twitter that he spoke to Meyiwa earlier this afternoon.
First Jali tweeted: “People of South Africa please tell me this is not true," before tweeting nine minutes later: “Just got a call and I was sleeping but now I can't sleep because of what I just had [sic].”
Jali ended with: “I can't believe this now after talking to him this afternoon but y yyyyyyy.”
It was the second death of a South African sports star in a matter of days, after former 800 metre Olympic silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash on Friday morning.
Sport minister Fikile Mbalula said the ministry would be in contact with Meyiwa's family before issuing a full statement.
“The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Minister Fikile Mbalula, has with deep sorrow taken note of widely publicised reports of the passing away of Orlando Pirates and South African Goal keeper, Senzo Meyiwa,” the ministry said in a brief statement.
“The Ministry is currently reaching out to his family and his club and will issue a full statement in due course.”