Raselemane: Death of a football natural

He was what could justifiably be termed a soccer ”natural”, instinctively going about his business on the field, doing the right thing at the right time.

But the tragic death of likeable Wits University and former Bafana Bafana striker Abram Raselemane in Bloemfontein on Tuesday at a time when he was barely into his 30s was anything but natural.

He reportedly committed suicide.

And a stunned, shocked South African soccer fraternity on Wednesday greeted with disbelief the passing of a player who represented his country 16 times and had only recently shaken off a number of recurring injuries that kept him out of action for most of the past season.

”South African soccer has lost another diamond,” was how Wits University coach Roger de Sa greeted the stark news about the player with whom he was involved for a number of year at club and national level.

Raselemane’s deft touch and incisive finishing helped Santos win the Bob Save Super Bowl in 2001, while he won the Absa Cup and SAA Supa8 competitions while with SuperSport United in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

He started his career with fledgling Bloemfontein Young Tigers and made his Bafana debut in 2001 against Liberia under current Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz.

He played his last game for Wits against Bloemfontein Celtic a mere 17 days ago after finally shaking off the effects of injury — and hopes were high he would carry on where he had left off next season on a contract that still had a year to run.

Instead, it has sadly all been cut short for a player who might have achieved even more on the field — something which he seemed fully capable of doing. — Sapa

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