Bafana Bafana captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa carried the team through the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, national coach Shakes Mashaba said today.
“We’re going to miss Senzo a lot ... let alone his goal-saving skills. He was a team player; he was everything.
“He carried the team through the Africa Cup. I don’t know why there was any doubt about him being the best goalkeeper.”
Meyiwa (27) was shot dead at about 8pm last night in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, at a house believed to be that of his girlfriend, actress and singer Kelly Khumalo.
After an injury to Itumeleng Khune in September, Meyiwa was appointed captain and goalkeeper of the national side. He grabbed the opportunity, playing in all four of South Africa’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers during the past two months.
At the time of his death, Meyiwa had played seven games for Bafana Bafana and only conceded one goal in Bafana’s 1-1 draw with Australia in May.
“He was the peacemaker in the team ... and a very kind person. He was the link between the players and the technical team,” Mashaba said.
“Since he started, we never had problems because he was always a leader. The players would always listen to him. They always went to Senzo and presented their problems.”
Chief executive of the Premier Soccer League, Brand de Villiers, said the Soweto derby, scheduled for Saturday between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates would be postponed.
“The match will not happen on Saturday out of respect for Senzo,” De Villiers said.
“It is the right thing to do.”