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Maritzburg United to visit Mondli Cele's family

The 27 year old soccer star was killed in a car crash in Pietermaritzburg last night.

A screengrabbed image of Maritzburg United midfielder Mondli Cele who passed away in a car crash on Saturday 16 January 2016.
Mondli Cele,Mondli Cele passes away
Sport Local

JOHANNESBURG – The Maritzburg United Football Club says it’s preparing to visit Mondli Cele's family today, to pay its respects after he was killed in a car crash.
 
The 27-year-old midfielder was killed near the Pietermaritzburg CBD last night, moments after scoring during their ABSA Premiership encounter against Orlando Pirates at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

The game ended in a three-all draw.

Cele joined Maritzburg United last season.

His football career began when he joined Port Shepstone-based second division club Gamalakhe United in 2012. 

He came under the spotlight in 2014 when he was spotted in a televised Nedbank Cup match against Engen Santos by Maritzburg United assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi. 

Cele has made eight appearances for the club this season, scoring two goals in the process.

The 27-year-old earned his first call-up in December 2014, barely six months as a professional. 

He was dubbed a ‘surprise inclusion’ in Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba’s provisional 34-man squad, to compete in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says Cele’s passing should serve as a reminder to fight against road carnage in the country. 

Multiple footballers have died on South Africa's roads recently, including Cecil Lolo and Richard Henyekane.

Mbalula says Cele will be remembered as a player full of talent.

“We have lost a number of footballers through car crashes. We need to do something about that. He was a talented footballer.”

MOMENT OF SILENCE

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) says a moment of silence will be observed during soccer games today to honour Cele.

According to KwaZulu-Natal transport officials, Cele was in a vehicle with three others when the driver lost control, plunging the car into a nearby river.

The PSL has sent its condolences to Cele’s family and club members.

PSL spokesperson Luxolo September said, “Mondli score a beautiful goal last night and it was his last celebration. It’s a very sad moment and today as a league we have asked all our clubs in the Absa Premiership and also in the national first division to observe a moment of silence in respect to the late Mondli Cele.”

To read a statement by the Maritzburg United Football Club on Cele's passing, click here

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)


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