President Jacob Zuma has expressed shock and outrage at the death of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.
“We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose life has been taken away at the prime of his career. The law enforcement authorities must leave no stone unturned in finding his killers and bring them to justice,” Zuma said in a statement today.
“Words cannot express the nation’s shock at this loss. We wish to extend, on behalf of government and all the people of South Africa, our words of condolence to his family and relatives, his friends, and peers in the football game, his club Orlando Pirates, and our national soccer team, as well as the football fraternity as a whole.”
The 27-year-old national team and Pirates goalkeeper and captain was shot dead at about 8pm in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, yesterday.
Meyiwa’s death was also was met with shock today by political parties and sporting bodies.
The African National Congress said it was joining South Africa in mourning Meyiwa’s death.
“The brutal killing of this rising star has left our nation shocked, saddened, and all that much poorer for the loss of this young and promising athlete,” spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.
The Democratic Alliance said it had high hopes Meyiwa would have led “a youthful new-look Bafana Bafana” to revive South African football.
“His incredible influence on Bafana Bafana’s current form is underscored by the fact that he was the only goalkeeper yet to concede a single goal in the first four fixtures of the African Cup of Nations qualifying matches,” DA MP Solly Malatsi said.
Proteas Test captain Hashim Amla and One Day International captain AB de Villiers paid tribute to Meyiwa on behalf of the team.
“Death is never an easy situation to deal with, especially when the person was held in high esteem and admiration among his peers and the soccer-loving South African public,” Amla said.
De Villiers said he hoped everyone would pull together after Meyiwa’s death.
“On behalf of the Proteas, I’d like to send our deepest and sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and team-mates during this tough time.”
The ANC Youth League proposed that the Premier Soccer League and soccer authorities consider postponing the derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates this coming Saturday.
“We are sick and tired of this new wave of violent killings and attempted murders that are carried-out in a disguise of robbery,” it said.
Lobby group AfriForum condemned the murder.
“The murder of Meyiwa once again highlights the fact that crime in South Africa is reaching crisis proportions and that the community will have to start safeguarding themselves within the framework of the law by establishing and getting actively involved in community safety initiatives,” AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said.