Johannesburg, Oct 27: South Africa`s soccer captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead by two men in a township near Johannesburg on Sunday in what local media reported as a botched robbery. The Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was shot in a house in Vosloorus where Meyiwa was visiting.
South Africa police reportedly said: “We can confirm that Bucs (Pirates) keeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot and sadly declared dead on arrival at hospital.”
On its Twitter feed, the South African Police Services further added: “We must emphasize break of protocol… We know there are upset and hurt pple (people) at the house where (the) incident occurred and at hospital. Calm please.”
“We can assure all South Africans that we will do all we can to bring Meyiwa’s killers (to) book,” the police said, offering a reward of Rs. 150,000 ($13,700).
The assailants managed to flee, along with a third man who was waiting outside, the report said, adding that other people in the house were unharmed.
The 27-year-old captained South Africa in their last four matches in the African Nations Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal and played on Saturday when his club advanced to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.
News of the shooting prompted widespread sympathy on social media and condemnation of South Africa’s rampant gun violence.
“How do you kill someone for a cellphone?” tweeted national team mate Tsepo Masilela.
Meyiwa’s death follows that of another prominent South African sportsman, former world 800 metres champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, killed in a car accident on Friday.
It may be noted that more than 17,000 people were murdered in South Africa between April 2013 and March 2014, an increase of about 800 over the previous year, according to police figures.
(With Agency Inputs)