Meyiwa Statue: A Bad Idea

2014-10-31 20:10

The world was shocked when it was revealed that Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalie Senzo Meyiwa had reached an untimely demise. It goes without saying that the Pirates shot-stopper had a solid chance of completely dethroning Itumeleng Khune as SA’s numero uno.

In honour of Meyiwa, Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza announced that the number 1 jersey would be retired. This is a bold move, especially considering the importance of the number itself. It may, in future CAF Champions League matches, be a stumbling block.

Evidently disturbed by Meyiwa’s cause of death, South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan called for a nationwide firearm clearance. According to Jordaan, the weapons would be burnt to create the statue. It is not quite clear whether Jordaan was being facetious or sincere. Should the latter be true, it would be an earnest error of judgment. “That Senzo Meyiwa will stand in front of SAFA house. When you walk in, you must walk past Senzo," Jordaan said.

Quite frankly, it would have made better sense for Orlando Pirates to make such a bold decision. South African sport does not have a strong history of erecting honorary statues, not even posthumous ones. That said, it would not make sense to bypass revered former players such as Jomo Sono, Doctor Khumalo, and Neil Tovey. No disrespect to Meyiwa, but this is a class few ever enter. Above everything, this would set a dangerous precedent. Is SAFA going to erect statues for every soccer player who [tragically] dies?

Jordaan was right to call for a law to seize all illegal firearms. After all, that’s what all South Africans should be worried about. Our alarming crime rate overrides Meyiwa’s extra-marital pursuits.

Meyiwa was indeed a good player, but he was not yet a legend. Perhaps he would have worked himself towards such a status. For now, let’s reflect on the loss the sport fraternity has suffered.

Decisions on the erection of statues should not be taken in a bout of emotion.

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