Cape Town - Senzo Meyiwa, who was tragically shot dead on
Sunday evening, began his football career as a striker for hometown club
London Cosmos in Umlazi, Durban in the 1990s.
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He soon converted to the goalkeeper position and went on to
represent KwaZulu-Natal in the Transnet Under-14 and Coca-Cola Under-17
Inter-Provincial tournaments in 2000 as a 13-year-old. His performances caught
the eye of Orlando Pirates scouts, who brought him to the club’s development
After making impressive progress through the youth levels, Meyiwa
made his official debut for Orlando Pirates in a 2-1 win over AmaZulu on November 8, 2006.
He was an important part of the Pirates squad that won a
famous ‘Double Treble’ in 2010/11 and 2011/12, claiming two MTN8 titles, two
Absa Premiership titles, the Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup.
In 2013 Meyiwa’s career took a dramatic upswing, as he reclaimed
the number one position at Orlando Pirates and was the team’s best player on
their epic run to the final of the CAF Champions League, with his heroic
performance in the away leg of the second round tie against DR Congo’s TP
Mazembe particularly memorable.
He also made his Bafana Bafana debut, coming on as a substitute
for Wayne Sandilands at half-time of a 2-0 friendly win over Lesotho in Maseru
on June 2, 2013.
In 2014 the goalkeeper continued his rise to prominence, helping
Orlando Pirates win the 2014 Nedbank Cup before taking advantage of the
injury-enforced absence of close friend and goalkeeping rival Itumeleng Khune
to be Bafana Bafana’s first choice goalkeeper for their 2015 Africa Cup of
Nations qualifying matches in September and October.
Meyiwa was not only the first choice goalkeeper, but also handed
the captain’s armband by new coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba. Inspired by the
honour, the Pirates goalkeeper kept four successive clean sheets as South
Africa claimed top spot on the standings after four matches and put themselves
within touching distance of qualification for the 2015 AFCON.
Meyiwa’s last professional appearance was on Saturday, October
25 at Orlando Stadium as he helped the Buccaneers to a 4-1 victory over Ajax Cape
Town in a Telkom Knockout quarter-final.
He was aged 27 years and 32 days upon his death on October 26 in
Senzo Meyiwa factfile
Born: September 24, 1987
Place of birth: Umlazi, Durban
Former clubs: Orlando Pirates juniors and Yebo Yes United (Pirates
Orlando Pirates debut: November 8, 2006, Orlando Pirates 2-1
Orlando Pirates starts: 157
International honours: Former South Africa U-17, U-20 & U-23
international; 7 Bafana Bafana caps (6 starts, 1 sub)
Bafana Bafana debut: June 2, 2013, Lesotho 0 South Africa 2
Honours: 2010 & 2011 MTN8 winner; 2011 & 2012 Absa
Premiership winner; 2011 & 2014 Nedbank Cup winner; 2013 CAF Champions