Senzo Meyiwa killed : South Africa’s Captain died protecting girlfriend

Senzo Meyiwa killed : South Africa's Captain died protecting girlfriend

Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa has died after being shot.

Details are vague at present, but it has been confirmed that Meyiwa died from a gunshot wound.

According to unconfirmed reports, Meyiwa was at his girlfriend’s home in Vosloorus when a man demanded his cellphone and opened fire. Meyiwa was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

South Africa has a high rate of violent crime, an issue that was raised during the recent trial of Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, who claimed he shot and killed his girlfriend by accident in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14, 2013 after mistaking her for a dangerous intruder in his home.

Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza called on football fans to help find the people responsible for killing Meyiwa. He said the club and Meyiwa’s teammates were “devastated” and were sobbing and crying when they gathered for training on Monday morning.

“Senzo was a good man,” Khoza said. “24 hours cannot go past without knowing who killed Senzo … We don’t want to speculate, we want to know who killed Senzo.”

South African President Jacob Zuma also released a statement saying “words cannot express the nation’s shock at this loss.”

“The law enforcement authorities must leave no stone unturned in finding his killers and bring them to justice,” Zuma said.

Dean Furman, one of Meyiwa’s national teammates, wrote on Twitter: “Beyond devastated at the loss of our captain & friend Senzo Meyiwa. Thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends at this terrible time.”

Meyiwa led the South Africa team in its last game, a 0-0 draw with Republic of Congo on Oct. 15 that kept it top of its group and on course to qualify for next year’s continental championship. He played for Orlando Pirates on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in a cup competition.

South Africa’s Premier Soccer League postponed this weekend’s derby game between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the country’s two biggest clubs, out of respect for Meyiwa.

Meyiwa’s killing was the second death to hit South African sport in three days after former 800-meter world champion and Olympic silver medalist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash on Friday.