Durban - Kaizer Chiefs chairperson Kaizer Motaung on Saturday called on the nation to stand up against crime.
"We must inculcate a culture where people come forward to report crime," he told thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral service of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
"We must not celebrate crime because it has a ripple effect."
Meyiwa was shot and killed last Sunday evening in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni while visiting his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo. Two men allegedly entered the house demanding cellphones and shot him before fleeing.
Motaung said he was compelled to remind the nation why thousands had gathered at the stadium despite wet conditions.
"What brought us here is nothing but crime. If it was not for crime, Senzo would still be in our midst," he said.
Motaung said that although the country had to accept what had happened, the question of what should be done about the problem of crime remained.
He said he advocated a gun-free society but this was not the only solution to crime.
"As I speak to you now, someone somewhere knows a perpetrator of crime. The answer lies with us.
"We owe it to ourselves to protect ourselves. Lest we forget, it's not the first time an icon of such calibre had departed in the manner he did," said Motaung.
He asked the family to accept what happened as God's will but said they were not the only ones crying.
He said the entire country and sporting fraternity had been dealt a heavy blow with Meyiwa's death.
"Let us accept what happened because there is nothing we can do to change this. Let us thank God for giving us a chance to know him and giving him a chance to use his gift," said Motaung.
He said that what the country had endured over the past week was painful.
This was a reference to the deaths of 800m athlete Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who was killed in a car accident, and welterweight boxer Phindile Mwelase, who died after being in a coma for two weeks.
"Our country was dealt a heavy blow with the disaster that befell the sporting fraternity in a short period of time," he said.
Orlando Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza then asked the crowd to be quiet as a video of Meyiwa, who also captained the Buccaneers, played.
Meyiwa's wife Mandisa cried into a handkerchief during the screening. She was comforted by other family members around her.
His father Samuel, who was sitting several seats away, put his face in his hands and also wept.