Shakes Mashaba pays emotional tribute to Meyiwa

The Bafana captain was gunned down on Sunday at his girlfriend's mother's house in Vosloorus.

A combined memorial service for Senzo Meyiwa, Phindile Mwelase and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi held at the Standard Bank Arena on 30 October 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has paid an emotional tribute to slain captain Senzo Meyiwa, describing him as a one of a kind both on and off the pitch.

The Bafana captain was gunned down on Sunday during an apparent botched robbery at his girlfriend, Kelly Kumalo's house, in Vosloorus.

Mashaba says Meyiwa was an unstable bundle of energy.

"When the team is playing, and one of his teammates does a good thing, he will clap hands. That's Senzo. When we score a goal, sometimes I wanted to call the traffic cops or doctors because when he runs, he never stops."

The Bafana captain is being remembered this afternoon along with athlete Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and boxer Phindile Mwelase.

The South African Football Association President Danny Jordaan says the best way to honour Meyiwa is to implement gun legislation in his name.

He addressed Meyiwa's father directly during the memorial service.

"The association has made a proposal that we should charter the Senzo Meyiwa gun law and that gun laws must take all the unlicensed and illegal firearms off the streets."

He says all these guns must then be destroyed.

At the same time, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told Meyiwa's killers that the country will not rest until they are behind bars.

Mbalula says South Africans must help find those who opened fire on Meyiwa.

"All South Africans and to everybody else, we are very much heartened by the spirit of all South Africans to seek to find the criminals who killed Senzo. It's a matter of weeks, days, minutes and seconds before we get to them."

Earlier, thousands of mourning sports fans arrived at the Standard Bank Arena to bid farewell to the three South African sport stars.

Eight hundred metre track runner Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash and professional boxer Phindile Mwelase slipped into a coma two weeks ago after being knocked out during a fight.

A long rectangular table has been placed in front of the stadium, covered in white flowers.

Church hymns are playing in the background as two large screens display the pictures of the three late sports stars, rounding off what some have described as the most devastating week in the country's sporting history.

Ministers, former sportsmen, club administrators and owners are all in attendance.

Meyiwa, Mulaudzi and Mwelase will all be laid to rest on Saturday.


Meanwhile, in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng Premier David Makhura has visited the Meyiwa family to personally convey his condolences.

Makhura, accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu, briefed Meyiwa's mother on the investigation into her son's death.

Makhura embraced the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain's mother warmly as she sat on a mattress grieving for her murdered son.

Speaking to the media afterwards, the Gauteng premier said the country has lost a hero and that police would not rest until his murderers are caught.

Umlazi residents have also organised a memorial which is expected to start later this afternoon.

The hunt for Meyiwa's killers is being coordinated by the police and a team of 10 private investigators hired by the soccer star's family.

The identikits of two suspects involved in the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain's murder were released on Tuesday, triggering a major response from the public.