Johannesburg - South Africa’s minister of sports, Fikile Mbalula, has paid homage to the late Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot dead in Johannesburg on Sunday night.
Addressing the media at the Rand Stadium on Monday, Mbalula spoke highly of Meyiwa’s perseverance, talent and leadership, reports the supersport.com website.
“He never got anything on a silver platter, he fought all the way for his position. At the point when Orlando Pirates could enlist the services of other goalkeepers in their line-up and to beef up the squad, he worked his way up. A true story of triumph over adversity.
“His poor circumstances never defined who he was, he fought of that to become who he was - a hero. Even in the national team, he did not simply walk into the team, it was because of his performance. At the time of his passing I think he had improved. He was appointed as the captain of Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana. Truly speaking all these were positions he deserved,” said Mbalula.
The minister said Senzo had matured over the years and his life was a testimony that greater things can be achieved in life with sheer determination.
“When I met him last week, I saw a young man and when I met him also in the Bafana Bafana camp I saw a young man who had actually come of age. He was happy, jubilant and quite assertive from that Senzo who was shy, afraid to speak or even to utter a word in English; to a brave young man; to a young man who was confident of himself. I say South Africa is a country full of possibilities and I saw that in Senzo,” the Minister said.
Mbalula, who is very active on the social networks, also spoke of the video that has been doing rounds online where Meyiwa is singing Kelly Khumalo’s latest track.
“I saw his video on the social networks singing his way through to Vosloorus. That is the young man that I met this past week, singing in the car and jubilant. Little did we know that we will not be with him today but such is life. Every day we walk on top of our graves but we will never accept that our fate could be determined and short-lived by criminals. We will never ever have a society that will be governed by criminals. Senzo’s parting means we must double our efforts to fight crime and bring criminals to book,” continued Mbalula.
“I am saddened at this passing of a young man. Like I said, it is the star that illuminates and the criminals robbed us of its brightness. It was like the rose that grew from concrete and was gone before its time. That was Senzo. We still expected a lot and many of our people still don’t believe this is the case.”
“When I phoned his father this morning he was crying. It is not so often that fathers cry but when he cried I knew that this meant we have lost not an old man of 70, but a young man of just 27 years old, who had a great future ahead of him.
“I want to say to everybody, Orlando Pirates and his family, we are with you and the nation grieves at this particular moment. Let us moan Senzo and say a good soul has departed but his deeds will remain for us forever and ever. It is for that reason that South Africa must create a Hall of Fame, because we don’t know what might occur the following day because if we had a Hall of Fame it help us to continue remembering those who have made a difference in our lives,” concluded Mbalula.