SAFA saddened by deaths
Kirsten Nematandani (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The deaths of four soccer players in a weekend crash was too tragic and difficult to grasp, the SA Football Association said on Monday.
"This accident, coming soon after the tragic death of Bafana Bafana assistant coach Thomas Madigage in another road accident, is difficult to grasp," said SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani in a statement.
Khomotso Sylvester Mpaketsane, Mojalefa Robert Mphuthi, Koketso Isaiah Takalo and Benjamin Moeketsi Nthete died on Sunday in the crash near Polokwane, in Limpopo.
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund expressed sadness at their death.
"It's so sad. It doesn't matter if you knew them or not, they were in the football fraternity and a life is a life," he said.
"A life is very precious and all we can say is that God gives the families the strength and the power and wisdom to handle a tragedy like this."
A minibus carrying the four players collided with a bakkie on the R71 near Polokwane.
The taxi, which was carrying 25 members of the Polokwane City football club, was travelling from Oscar Mphetha Stadium, where the team had played their National First Division match against FC AK.
The taxi landed on its side in the path of oncoming traffic, and was hit by a bus carrying members of the Zion Christian Church.
Nematandani sent condolences to the players' families and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
"We just buried Madigage, who died in similar circumstances. We need to be careful on the roads... precious lives are being lost."
Madigage, who was also from Limpopo, died in a car crash near Burgersfort last month.
The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) said the accident had robbed the country of future soccer stars.
"We are saddened by the fact that the country and the continent has been robbed of future national and international stars," said AFCON CEO Mvuzo Mbebe.
"We had hoped that the players would also be with us to celebrate another milestone in South Africa when we host the Afcon in February 2013."