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Free State police investigating tragic death of football referee

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Moeketsi Johannes Molelekoa in action during a PSL fixture.
Moeketsi Johannes Molelekoa in action during a PSL fixture.

The Botshabelo police are investigating a case of culpable homicide relating to a fatal accident in which Premier Soccer League (PSL) assistant referee Moeketsi Johannes Molelekoa and Palesa Emily Pole were killed. The tragic incident reportedly happened on Friday (20/01) at about 06:00 in the main road in Section B.

Lt. Col Thabo Covane, spokesperson for the police in the Mangaung Metro, said Molelekoa’s vehicle collided head-on with a bus belonging to the Interstate Bus Line company. He said the bus driver, Sello Radikgomo, escaped unharmed while both Molelekoa (31) and Pole (25) were declared dead at the scene by the paramedics that responded to the incident. He said the lady was a passenger in the red Polo that Molelekoa was driving.

It is unclear what happened that caused the accident and if the conditions of the road might have contributed to the fatal crash that claimed both lives. The incident has sparked public outrage and sent shock waves through the football fraternity.

The South African Football Association (Safa) has described the incident as saddening, grieving the death of the highly rated and humble assistant referee, affectionately known as Max.

Social media platforms were flooded as people expressed shock regarding the assistant referee’s sudden death.

Molelekoa cut his teeth in refereeing in football, serving in low league and competitions of the Safa. He steadily rose to officiate in the top-flight PSL and continental competitions. His first international match was the African Cup of Nations qualifying fixture between Zambia and Algeria in March 2021.

Details of the funeral service and other related activities will be announced in due course.

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