Football fraternity pays tribute to Mondli Cele
Cele had scored a goal at the Harry Gwala Stadium contributing to his team’s draw against Pirates.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's football community is paying tribute to Maritzburg United's Mondli Cele who gave an outstanding performance on the field last night, just hours before his fatal car crash.
Last night Cele and three others were traveling near the Pietermaritzburg CBD when the driver of the vehicle he was in lost control.
The car landed in a nearby river killing the soccer star and one other passenger.
Cele had scored a goal at the Harry Gwala Stadium contributing to his team's draw against Orlando Pirates.
Maritzburg United chairperson Farook Kadodia said, "His character both on and off the field was impeccable."
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."
THE FOOTBALL STAR
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.
SA has lost one of its brightest football stars. RIP Mondli Cele. Our thoughts are with his family, friends & Pietermaritzburg United.
- Proudly SA (@ProudlySA) January 17, 2016
It's really sad to hear this that umkhaya Wami Mondli Cele passed away last nite RIP boy u will be remembered. pic.twitter.com/SX3OQ4oaen
- Ayanda (@GcabaAyanda) January 17, 2016
Our deepest condolences to the family of mondli cele. He had a great game last night. May your soul rest in peace.
- Ernest Mahungu (@ErnestMahungu) January 17, 2016
There is indeed one step between life & death. Condolences to the Cele family and @MaritzburgUtd on the untimely passing of Mondli Cele
- Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP (@MkhulekoHlengwa) January 17, 2016
RIP MONDLI CELE U MADE PIETERMARITZBURG PROUD YESTERDAY NEVER KNEW IT WAS YOUR LAST GAME 💚😘😘😘 pic.twitter.com/vgupco0Ppn
- Faith Mkhize (@FaithMkhize2) January 17, 2016
This Mondli Cele passing is just too sad. Imagine the guys he was playing with his last night.
May he rest in peace. 💔
- Scapegoat (@andiMakinana) January 17, 2016
Our deepest condolences to @MaritzburgUtd on the tragic passing of player Mondli Cele.Our hearts also go out to the the Cele family& friends
- Adv Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) January 17, 2016
Our deepest condolences to the family of @MaritzburgUtd midfielder Mondli Cele, who passed away tragically last night in an accident.
- Orlando Pirates FC (@Orlando_Pirates) January 17, 2016
- Asidlali (@Asidlali) January 17, 2016
- Neal Collins (@nealcol) January 17, 2016