Zifa, Zim players mourn Meyiwa

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ZIFA and Zimbabwean players joined the rest of the world yesterday in mourning the tragic death of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper and captain Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot dead on Sunday night in Vosloorus, Johannesburg.

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said they were shocked by the loss of the talented goalkeeper.

“Zifa is saddened by the death of Orlando Pirates and South Africa captain Senzo Meyiwa, a goalkeeper who had been impressive for his country and club whenever his services were required,” he told the association’s official website www.zifa.org.zw..Senzo Meyiwa

“We join our sister association, the South African football Association, Orlando Pirates football club, the Meyiwa family and the international football family in this difficult time of coming to terms with this sudden loss. May his soul rest in peace.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they come to terms with the shocking loss, may everyone find comfort and solace in the almighty.”

Zimbabwean players based in South Africa also expressed their shock at the gruesome murder.

Said Tapuwa Kapini, the AmaZulu captain: “I don’t wanna lie this is killing me. How can they do this to sm1 who has been saving his county with all he got. My eyes are full of tears o God (sic).”

Kaizer Chiefs striker Matthew Rusike said: “Unbelievably shocked to hear about Senzo. May his soul rest in peace #RIP #salute (sic).”

Chiefs midfield enforcer Willard Katsande tweeted: “Life is too short, we lost talent RIP.”

Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper, Iker Casillas wrote: “Very saddened by the tragic loss of a fellow DEP Senzo.”

As South Africa continued to mourn the slain Buccaneer, Sport and Recreation minister Fikile Mbalula said the devil had taken away a national asset.

“The devil has dug deep in our pockets taking Senzo away from us, a national asset,” he said. “Senzo was a star and the criminals have robbed us of his brightness. There is no grave big enough for Senzo.

“Senzo worked for every accolade he achieved. He always showed good qualities of leadership. These criminals can run, but they can’t hide. We will find them.”

Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega announced that the reward for an arrest in the murder was R250 000.

Meyiwa’s teammates gathered at the Rand Stadium yesterday morning to mourn the death of their captain.

Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said Meyiwa’s legacy would live on for “eternity”.

“His contribution will not be forgotten,” he said.

“It’s a sad day indeed for all of us. We are all in mourning for the late Senzo. We have lost a great human being and a great leader. We need to assist the police to find the people who are behind this murder.”

Kaizer Chiefs boss Kaizer Motaung said: “For me this is a national tragedy. As a parent I know what it’s like to lose one of your own. His career was blossoming. He was at the prime of his career.”

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba spoke highly of Meyiwa.

“He was a patient person who waited until good things came to him. He had to wait his turn at Pirates and in the national team. Senzo was a kind soul who did not deserve to be killed,” Mashaba said.

“I’d never seen him angry with any of his teammates. He will always be our leader.”

Out of respect for Meyiwa, the Soweto derby scheduled for Saturday was postponed until further notice.

Caf president Issa Hayatou has expressed his shock at the death of Meyiwa.

“It is with shock and dismay that CAF has learnt about the passing away of South Africa and Orlando Pirates captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa,” Hayatou said.

“Losing such a talented player and young gentlemen is a tragedy for South African and African football, and our thoughts are with his family and relatives.”

— SPORTS REPORTER/AGENCIES