At an emotional news conference on Monday, Meyiwa's colleagues
paid tribute to the 27-year-old goalkeeper, who was hit by a single
round in the chest as he confronted two intruders on Sunday night at
the home of actress and singer Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, a
township southeast of Johannesburg.
He was dead on arrival at hospital, police said.
Meyiwa's death turns the spotlight once again on gun violence in
South Africa less than a week after Paralympic sprinter Oscar
Pistorius was jailed for five years for shooting dead his
girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp last year.
This weekend's Johannesburg derby in front of 90,000 fans between
Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates - the club Meyiwa
joined as a 13-year-old and ended up leading - was postponed as a
mark of respect.
"Don't think such a good man as Senzo can go and vanish. His spirit
will live," Shakes Mashaba, coach of the Bafana Bafana national
side, said, tears streaming down his cheeks and his voice quavering
with emotion. "He would always be the leader."
Even though South Africa's murder rate has been gradually dropping,
it remains one of the world's most violent countries, with police
recording more than 17,000 murders last year, or 31 per 100,000
people - seven times the rate in the United States.
In the Pistorius trial, his lawyers had cited his fears that an
intruder he was in the house as part of his defense.
"We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose
life has been taken away at the prime of his career," President
Jacob Zuma said in a statement.
"The law enforcement authorities must leave no stone unturned in
finding his killers and bring them to justice. Words cannot express
the nation's shock at this loss."
Meyiwa captained South Africa in their last four matches in the
African Nations Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal and played
on Saturday when Pirates - nicknamed the Bucanneers - advanced to
the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.
Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said the club, which was founded in
1937 by the children of migrant workers drawn to Johannesburg's gold
mines, was devastated by the killing.
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"We had a session in the morning with the players at which we
were soul-searching," Khoza said. "A lot of sobbing and crying. It
"INJECT THEM WITH EBOLA"
Police said two men entered Khumalo's house on Sunday evening where
Meyiwa was in a party of seven in the house. A third assailant
waited outside the house and all three fled immediately after the
"Two guys entered the house and demanded cellphones, money and other
valuables," provincial security official Sizakele Nkosi-Malubane
told reporters. "Senzo tried to protect Kelly because one of the men
had a gun pointed towards her."
The killing heightened the anger and indignation of South Africans
who are fed up with often senseless violent crime.
One DJ on Five FM, a popular nationwide radio station, urged police
to catch the killers and "inject them with Ebola".
Phiyega also announced a special task team to investigate the
murder, along with a reward of 250,000 rand ($23,000) for
information leading to the arrest of his killers.
($1 = 10.9385 rand)
(Additional reporting by Siphiwe Sibeko; Writing by Ed Cropley,
Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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