Memorial service for late sports stars underway

Thursday, October 30, 2014
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - The Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg is this afternoon reverberating with vuvuzela’s and songs praising the three late sporting heroes, Senzo Meyiwa, Phindile Mwelase and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi.

South Africans from all backgrounds, sports stars and delegates from the sporting fraternity, are gathered at the arena to honour their fallen sporting icons at a joint memorial service.

Dressed in their respective teams regalia and waving the South African flag, in a celebratory mood, the mourners sang: “Senzo Meyiwa, ahuna ya tswana le wena, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi ahuna ya tswana le wena, Phindi Mwelase, Phindi Mwelase, ahuna ya tswana le wena. Robala ka Kgotso Mbulaeni, Robala ka Kgotso Meyiwa, Ro bala ka Kgotso Phindi!”

In an exclusive interview with SAnews, a teary former Orlando Pirates striker Phumudzo Manenzhe said it was hard to lose such a close friend as Mulaudzi, who died in a car accident near Johannesburg, on Friday.

He was the most successful South African two-lap athlete of all time.

Manenzhe comes from the same area as Mulaudzi in Sinthumule/Kutama, outside Makhado, in Limpopo.

“It is very sad to lose a ‘home boy’ like Mbulaeni. We grew up in the same area and when we came to Gauteng, we kept in touch and remained friends.

“During the festive season, we used to spend most of our time together. He was very disciplined and committed to whatever he was doing. I’m already missing him.”

Bafana Bafana captain Meyiwa was killed at his girlfriend’s home in Vosloorus at the weekend.

Manenzhe said he remembered Meyiwa as a younger brother who was always vibrant, energetic and someone who never quits.

“When I received the sad news, I couldn’t believe it. I had a problem dealing with that because Senzo never had a problem with anyone during my stay at Pirates.

“Losing a young goalkeeper with a blossoming future is going to take a long time to get over.”

Female boxer, Mwelase, died in hospital at the weekend.

Struggle heroes Andrew Mlangeni and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, musician DJ Cleo and Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, his Deputy Gert Oosthuizen are also attending the memorial service. - SAnews.gov.za