Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa shot dead by intruders

Senzo Meyiwa. (Reuters)

Senzo Meyiwa. (Reuters)

South African soccer captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead by intruders in what is being reported as a botched robbery.

Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead by intruders near Johannesburg on Sunday in a case that is again focusing the world’s media on the country’s crime problem.

The Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was shot after two men entered a house in Vosloorus where Meyiwa was visiting, at about 8pm, police said in a statement.

It is reported that Meyiwa was at the house of singer and actress Kelly Khumalo during the shooting, however, police have not confirmed this as yet. 

Khumalo is the mother of a child with Meyiwa, and she also shares a child with hip hop singer Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye. Maarohanye was found guilty of murder for killing four schoolboys while drag racing down a Soweto street while high on drugs.
This was later converted to culpable homicide. 

His sentence was reduced to 10 years imprisonment, two of which were suspended. A confrontation between Meyiwa’s wife Mandisa, and Khumalo, reportedly ended with the singer’s arrest last year after she allegedly assaulted the wife near the Empire road off-ramp.  

Meyiwa reportedly told police his wife had provoked Khumalo. “Kelly had no idea that I was in a relationship, I didn’t reveal it to her. I should have known and done better, I have apologised to both Mandisa and Kelly for this,” Meyiwa said at the time. Khumalo posted a picture of herself with Meyiwa to Instragram several hours before the shooting on Sunday.

The intruders fled, along with a third man who had been waiting outside. Other people in the house were unharmed.

The intruders had reportedly demanded a mobile phone.

“We can confirm that Bucs (Pirates) keeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot and sadly declared dead on arrival at hospital,” the South African Police Services (SAPS) said on its Twitter feed.

“We must emphasize break of protocol ... We know there are upset and hurt pple [people] at the house where [the] incident occurred and at hospital. Calm please.

“We can assure all South Africans that we will do all we can to bring Meyiwa’s killers (to) book,” the police said in a further tweet, offering a reward of R150 000.

The 27-year-old captained South Africa in their last four matches in the African Nations Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal and played on Saturday when his club advanced to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.

‘Sad loss’
“This is a sad loss which ever way you look at it - to Senzo’s family, his extended family, Orlando Pirates and to the nation,” Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza said in a statement.

News of the shooting prompted widespread sympathy on social media and condemnation of South Africa’s rampant gun violence.

“How do you kill someone for a cellphone?” tweeted national team mate Tsepo Masilela.

Belgian-based goalkeeper Darren Keet, who had been Meyiwa’s understudy over the last four internationals, tweeted: “When does it STOP South Africa?”

Meyiwa’s death follows that of another prominent South African sportsman, former world 800 metres champion  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, killed in a car accident on Friday.

Violent gun crime in South Africa has been highlighted by the trial of Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius, who was given a five-year jail sentence for culpable homicide after shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. – Sapa

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