South Africa captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead near Johannesburg. Police Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale said Meyiwa, who was also captain of South African club Orlando Pirates, was shot at a house in Vosloorus, a township about 30 kilometres south of the city.
The 27-year-old was declared dead on admission to hospital. We can confirm that Bucs (Pirates) goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot and sadly declared dead on arrival at hospital,” the South African Police Service (SAPS) said on its Twitter feed. Police later said there were seven people inside the house, including Meyiwa, when two suspects entered and another remained outside. “There was an altercation and Senzo Meyiwa was shot. The three suspects fled on foot after the shooting. “We can assure South Africans that we will do all we can to bring Meyiwa’s killers to book.”
The Pirates, one of the most popular and successful South African football clubs, also confirmed that Meyiwa had been killed. “This is a sad loss to Senzo’s family, especially his children, to Orlando Pirates and the nation,” club chairman Irvin Khoza said in a statement. Meyiwa played for the Orlando Pirates in Soweto on Saturday and had been in outstanding form for the national team during recent 2015 Africa Cup qualifiers. The death of the national football team captain is the second tragedy to hit South African sport within three days after former world 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi died Friday in a car crash. South Africa team-mates Dean Furman and Andile Jali were among the first to react to the latest tragedy on Twitter.
Dean Furman :
Beyond devastated at the loss of our captain & friend Senzo Meyiwa. thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends at this terrible time.
Just got a call and I was sleeping but now I can’t sleep because of what I just had.
After many years in the South African football shadows, Meyiwa had a meteoric climb to fame with club and country. He displaced national squad goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs as first-choice gloveman at Pirates, the only South African side to be crowned African champions. And a recent injury to South Africa captain and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune gave Meyiwa a chance in the national team, popularly known as Bafana Bafana (The Boys). New national coach Ephraim Mashaba not only promoted Durban-born Meyiwa to replace Khune but also made him captain of a team that has struggled in recent years.
Meyiwa responded by leading the team to victories over Sudan and Congo Brazzaville and draws with Congo and Nigeria, a country against which South Africa traditionally struggles. He was also made captain of Pirates and helped the club defeat Ajax Cape Town 4-1 Saturday in a South African League Cup quarter-final. The only Ajax attempt that beat Meyiwa came from a penalty kick. -abc