South Africa to bid farewell to Senzo Meyiwa at Moses Mabhida Stadium

31 October 2014

South Africa will bid farewell to Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates Football Club captain Senzo Meyiwa at the 60 000-seat Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday, 1 November.

Thousands of mourners are expected to flock to the stadium on the day to say “ndlelanhle’ to one of South Africa’s celebrated sports heroes who was shot dead during an alleged robbery in Johannesburg last Sunday night.

Meyiwa, who has been afforded an official provincial funeral by the KwaZulu- Natal provincial government, will be laid to rest at Chesterville’s “Heroes Acre’ cemetery.

Durban newspaper the Daily News reported on Thursday that KZN Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi, and Sports MEC, Ntombikayise Sabhida-Saphetha, spent much of Wednesday at the Meyiwa family home in Umlazi, a township just outside Durban.

Speaking to the newspaper, Meyiwa family spokesman, Siyabonga Miya, said there would be a free train service for mourners on the day of the funeral. The train will leave uMlazi for Moses Mabhida Stadium at 8am sharp.

On Friday, a memorial service for Meyiwa will be held at the Durban City Hall at 12noon, hosted by the KZN provincial government.

Gauteng memorial service

On Thursday, 30 October, Gauteng residents flocked to the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg to remember Meyiwa, who spent much of his sporting life at Orlando Pirates, and two other sports personalities, 800m track star Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and welterweight boxer Phindile Mwelase, who passed away in the same week.

The memorial service was attended by top government officials, sports personalities and the general public. Addressing mourners at the memorial service, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said justice will be done to bring Meyiwa’s killers to book.

“This nation will never be at ease until we’ve found them, and the machinery of justice is grinding. Each one of us has the responsibility because somewhere, somehow, someone knows who killed Senzo Meyiwa.’

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba urged the nation to celebrate the life of Meyiwa. He said Meyiwa was a “happy young man’ who gave so much to his country.

“Senzo was a player that was never sad; look at all his pictures – you will never see one picture where Senzo is unhappy or sad. He had a positive energy which was always good for the national team. We have to celebrate his life, and make sure we carry the legacy he left behind.’

Senzo Meyiwa funeral arrangements

Announcing Meyiwa’s funeral arrangement on Orlando Pirates’ website , club chairman Irvin Khoza said Meyiwa was like a son to him. He said Meyiwa came to Orlando Pirates in his mid-teens and joined the Pirates academy as a 13-year-old. He broke through the ranks into the first team but for years played second fiddle to other goalkeepers. After patiently biding his time, Meyiwa asserted himself as the first choice keeper in 2011 and eventually captained his club side.

His leadership credentials also led to him becoming Bafana Bafana captain and first choice goalkeeper under new coach Shakes Mashaba after initially replacing the injured Itumeleng Khune.

In his final match, Meyiwa guided Pirates to a 4-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinal on Saturday at the Orlando Stadium.

PSL fixtures postponed

On Thursday, 30 October, the Premier Soccer League Executive Committee (Exco) announced that all fixtures that were supposed to place this weekend have been postponed till further notice.

“A decision was taken to postpone all Absa Premiership and National First Division (NFD) fixtures scheduled for this weekend.

“This was done following discussions between the League, title sponsors Absa, the broadcast partners and other relevant stakeholders regarding the extraordinary circumstances relating to the passing and funeral of the late Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain, Senzo Meyiwa,” the PSL said in a statement.

SAinfo reporter