Bafana Bafana

Sadness as Meyiwa's body enters stadium

2014-11-01 12:16
Senzo Meyiwa (Supplied)

Durban - Thousands of mourners rose to their feet as the body of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa arrived at the Moses Mabhida Stadium here on Saturday.

A white Audi Q7 carrying the casket drove onto the pitch, flanked by the marching police brass band, and completed a lap of the pitch.

The coffin, draped in the South African flag, was followed by KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu, SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan, Premiership and Orlando Pirates players among other dignitaries.

Supporters broke down and cried as the brass band made its way towards the marquee where guests were seated.

His wife and family leaned against each other as they made their way to the marquee.

Earlier, Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele entered the stadium to wild applause.

"South Africa has lost a son and has lost a captain... we must be here, let's just mourn and say to Senzo 'farewell'," he told reporters.

"I think South Africans as a whole, not only the state agencies, but everybody, must rise against this criminality and say 'enough is enough'."

When asked about calls for him to be reinstated as national police commissioner, Cele said: "That is not for me, that is not my call".

One of the mourners in the stadium, Bongani "Mzekebhaka" Tshabalala, carried a poster calling for Cele to be reinstated.

Tshabalala said earlier that since Cele had left the police, crime was on the increase.

Cele reportedly said in 2009 that police should be allowed to "shoot to kill" criminals.

Cele has since denied making the statement, saying he had said police should "use deadly force when under attack".

When gospel musician Rebecca Malope arrived at stadium earlier, she received a rapturous welcome.

The stadium was filled with joyous screams and ululation as she ran to the guest marquee, waving to the crowd.

Photographers chased Malope, desperate to snap her picture

Over the public address system it was announced that 25,000 mourners were in the stadium.

Meyiwa was killed around 8pm on Sunday, when two attackers entered his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo's house.

On Friday, a man appeared in court in connection with Meyiwa's murder.

Gauteng police spokesman 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.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  senzo meyiwa  |  soccer
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