South Africa’s football captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has died after being shot, police say.
He was reportedly attacked after men entered his girlfriend’s house in Vosloorus, south of Johannesburg. The 27-year-old played for Orlando Pirates and had played in South Africa’s last four Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
On Saturday, he was in action for his club, when they progressed to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup. Orlando Pirates beat Ajax Cape Town 4-1.
In a statement, the South African Police Service said two men had entered the house, around 20:00 (18:00 GMT). A third man remained outside. All three fled on foot after shots were fired, in what local media reports say was an attempted burglary. One of the men had reportedly demanded Meyiwa’s mobile phone. A reward of about $14,000 has been offered for information leading to the suspects’ arrest.
Meyiwa was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Team mate Tsepo Masilela was among many voicing their shock at the news on social media.
“How do you kill someone for a cellphone?” he tweeted, saying the whole country was at a loss.
“When does it STOP South Africa?” wrote Darren Keet, the national team’s number two goalkeeper.
Senzo Meyiwa started playing for Orlando Pirates, based in the Parktown district of Johannesburg, in 2005.
“This is a sad loss whichever way you look at it, to Senzo’s family, his extended family, Orlando Pirates and to the nation.” said Pirates’ chairman Irvin Khoza.
Meyiwa was yet to concede a goal in his team’s current run of qualifying games in the Africa Cup of Nations (CAF).
Last year, the Pirates were runners-up in the CAF Champions League. losing 3-1 on aggregate to Al Ahly of Egypt.