–Kalusha,Radebe,Mbalula,Jordaan,Gerrard,Casillas mourn Bafana captain
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has added his voice to the tributes pouring in from around the world following the tragic death of South Africa goalkeeper and captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot dead on Sunday night.
Blatter sent his condolences to Meyiwa’s family, his club Orlando Pirates as well as the South African national team via Twitter.
“Thoughts with family, players and fans of Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana. A senseless, tragic loss. #RIPSenzoMeyiwa,” Blatter tweeted.
The FIFA boss is just one of many famous names in the world of football to express their shock and sympathy after Meyiwa’s tragic demise.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou has also expressed his grief.
In a letter to South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan, Hayatou said: “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.
“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.
“Meyiwa was one of the most promising South African players and he took with great pride and responsibility his role as captain of both the national team and his club Orlando Pirates. Words cannot express enough our sadness.
“In my personal name, on behalf of the CAF Executive Committee and the entire African football family, we present to the family of the deceased, to SAFA, to Orlando Pirates and to all those who knew Meyiwa our deepest condolences.”
South African Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula insists that the continent has lost a footballing giant.
“Yet another hero has fallen after the death of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi
[South African athlete] and this time the devil dug deep into our pocket to take Senzo away. I say the devil because it is only the devil that can take a good soul like Senzo Meyiwa,” said Mbalula.
“He was a national asset, we are deeply saddened by the news that our national captain has passed on, and there is no words that can describe this feeling as a nation. Senzo was a star, the criminals robbed us of its brightness. Today South Africa soccer is poorer without Senzo Meyiwa.
“There is no grave big enough to bury this African giant. Senzo Meyiwa did not allow his poor conditions and circumstances to stop him from what he wanted to be.
“A different player would have given up, but coming of age at age of 27. Captaining our national team. He was patient throughout and did the work on the field of play. He was never given any accolade on a silver platter, he worked for it.
“Senzo leaves us with a clean sheet, he performed at the best of his abilities,” he said.
South Africa Football Association president Danny Jordaan said there was a proliferation of illegal guns in the hands of irresponsible people and it was high time the government introduced a law to curb this behaviour.
“Isn’t it high time we introduce the Senzo Meyiwa gun law?” he asked rhetorically. “There are too many illegal guns around and here is a young man eager to plough back into society mowed down without mercy. This cannot be allowed to continue,” added Jordaan.
The SAFA President said he was still finding it difficult to come to terms that Meyiwa was no more.
“We will miss Senzo as a person, captain and an example for other players. He was a rare breed. We are very angry, gutted that there are people in society that can do this without a second thought,” said the SAFA president.
He said it was his urgent hope that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book and face the full might of the law.
“The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be ashamed of themselves. This is inhuman.”
Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya says it is very sad to lose a young talent like Senzo Meyiwa in such tragic circumstances.
“It is a tragedy for South African Football to lose one of its brightest stars in Senzo Meyiwa,” Kalusha said.
“We are all shocked that someone so talented and at the peak of his time can lose his life in such a manner.
“Everyone I have spoken to say how humble and dedicated he was at his sport.
“On behalf of the Zambian Football family , we want to express our sincere condolences to Orlando Pirates, The South African Football Association, his family and friends. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard posted his condolences on Twitter, while Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas – a personal hero of Meyiwa’s – put an emotional post on Instagram.
Legendary former South Africa captain Lucas Radebe tweeted: “Tragic news about the passing of @orlandopirates @BafanaBafana captain. Sad sad news don’t know wat to say……”