‘Ted Dumitru would have wanted people to celebrate his life’
The 76-year-old died today after suffering a heart attack at Eastgate Shopping Centre.
JOHANNESBURG - Dr Irvin Khoza, chairman of both Orlando Pirates and the PSL, has told Eyewitness News former Bafana Bafana Coach Ted Dumitru would have wanted people to celebrate his life and not mourn his death.
The 76-year-old former coach died today after suffering a heart attack at the Eastgate Mall.
The football fraternity has expressed shock at the former coach's passing.
Dumitru won multiple domestic titles during his time as coach of South Africa's big three clubs, as well as guiding Bafana Bafana to the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 2006.
LISTEN: SA mourns Ted Dumitru
Khoza told EWN South Africa was lucky to have a man of Dumitru's talent and vision, as he paid tribute to the late coach.
In a coaching career that spanned nearly four decades, Dumitru managed to guide Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to silverware.
That success eventually saw him called up by South African Football Association to manage the national team, which he took to the 2006 edition of Afcon.
At the same time, soccer legend Doctor Khumalo has described Dumitru as someone who truly cared for Africa's unique style of playing football.
Khumalo says he wouldn't be where he is today had it not been for Dumitru's visionary leadership.
"He was too smart in terms of unearthing talent. He had a vision and skill in terms of protecting young talent."
Former Bafana Bafana Midfielder Stanton Fredericks says his Romanian-born coach was an African at heart.
"He believed in football development; he was an African at heart, yes he was born in Romania but when he spoke it was as if he was South African born and beed. He believed in our football."
Meanwhile, Eastgate Mall management has confirmed Dumitru's collapse, saying that on site medical services tied to resuscitate him.
The centre has conveyed its condolences to his family.
At the same time, President of the South African Schools Football Association (Sasfa) Mandla Mazibuko said, "We have worked with him as individuals as well as part of a system when the Transnet Football Development Centres across the country produced a blue print in a form of the Transnet Sport School of Excellence and the rest is history.
We thank his family for allowing him to share his passion with the country and recently some of our coaches were drinking from his fountain of wisdom through the Maximal Training Workshops that he conducted. Indeed it is a great lost. May his soul Rest in Peace."