Durban - Overcast skies did not put a damper on the spirits of soccer fans who thronged the Moses Mabhida Stadium here on Saturday ahead of the funeral service of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.
Singing and dancing, the high-spirited supporters were determined to bid farewell to their captain.
Many held placards and flags in the colours of Orlando Pirates, which Meyiwa - who was shot dead last Sunday - had also captained.
One placard read: "Bring back the (former national police commissioner) general Bheki Cele", while another read: "I love Senzo".
One supporter held aloft a picture of Meyiwa in action as a goalkeeper.
Pictures of Meyiwa in action on the soccer field were placed around the 54 000 seater stadium.
Final preparations were underway as fans waited for the official programme to start at 10:00.
Buses were still arriving with supporters, who slowly trickled into the stadium.
Earlier in the morning, soccer supporters wearing sport regalia, and mostly in Orlando Pirates colours, sang and danced as they waited for the gates to the stadium to open.
Vuvuzelas and drums blended with the singing voices.
Orlando Pirates flags and banners with the words "Rest in peace Senzo Meyiwa" were held up high.
Meyiwa was shot and killed on Sunday evening in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni while visiting his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. Two men entered the house allegedly demanding cellphones, and shot him before fleeing.
On Saturday morning Ntsakiso Kubayi said he took a bus from Johannesburg to Durban to bid Meyiwa, his "inspiration", farewell.
"I'm here to pay my last tribute to Meyiwa. He inspired me a lot. Every time we were at the stadium he would tell us to cheer up. For me he was Orlando Pirates," he said.
"I have lost a legend, the greatest footballer in South Africa... I have lost someone so important," he said.
Kubayi said Meyiwa's death was not only a loss for Pirates but the nation as a whole.
"He was a leader for both teams and they will have to work hard to replace [him] and find continuity," he said.
Fans were given t-shirts bearing Meyiwa's face and the words "We will never forget you".
On Friday, a man appeared in court in connection with Meyiwa's murder.
Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila said: "(On Thursday), after receiving very positive information about a number of suspects, we conducted an identity parade during which some of the witnesses positively identified one person."
The 25-year-old Vosloorus resident, Zenokuhle Mbatha, was arrested and charged on the basis of the positive identification.
The National Prosecuting Authority said Mbatha would appear in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court again on November 11, when he was expected to apply for legal aid.