Senzo Meyiwa, the captain and goalkeeper of South Africa’s national football team was shot and killed last night while protecting his girlfriend from burglars. According to the latest report, burglars were trying to break into Meyiwa’s home and in an effort to protect his pop star girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, he was killed.
As news of the killing broke, fans were in shock. At just 27 years old, Meyiwa and Khumalo lived together near Johannesburg in the township of Vosloorus. Around 8:00 pm last night, two men broke in, followed by demanding money, cellphones, and other items of value.
According to Sizakele Nkosi-Malubane, provincial official for community safety, one of the men pointed a gun toward Khumalo at which time Meyiwa stepped in between the two and was shot. Apparently, there was a third man waiting outside the home and once the gun went off, all three fled the scene. Although Meyiwa was rushed to the hospital, he died en route.
In an effort to gain information about the shooting that leads to an arrest, a $14,000 US dollar reward is being offered. In the meantime, outraged fans gathered at Meyiwa’s home, as well as the hospital, prompting the police to ask everyone to remain calm while the investigation is underway.
The last four matches played in the African Nations Cup qualifiers were captained by Meyiwa. At no time in these four matches was a goal conceded. Meyiwa and his team also played the night before the killing, when his club the Orlando Pirates moved forward to the semifinals of the South African League Cup.
Meyiwa’s South Africa coach, Ephraim Mashaba, as well as numerous teammates gathered at the hospital while Irvin Khoza, chairman of the Pirates released a statement saying this is an incredibly sad loss no matter how it is looked at, affecting Meyiwa’s entire family, his extended family, the Orlando Pirates, the South African nation, and many other foreign countries.
Some of Meyiwa’s teammates, along with other team’s football players and professional athletes from other sports took to social media to express their sadness. One of these was from Dean Furman, a South African footballer with the Doncaster Rovers who wrote on Twitter that he was beyond devastated at losing the team’s captain and friend, adding that thoughts and prayers were going out to his family members and friends.
In another Tweet, Kevin Prince Boateng, former Tottenham and Portsmouth midfielder, as well as Ghana international said one word that described the situation perfectly…”TRAGEDY!!!”