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South Africa Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa Dies at the Age of 27

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2014

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Updates from Friday, Oct. 31

The Associated Press (via The Guardian) has an update on the investigation into Senzo Meyiwa's arrest:

A suspect has been charged with the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, South Africa’s national football team captain, authorities said on Friday.

The suspect, 25-year-old Zenokuhle Mbatha, will be held in custody until his next court appearance on 11 November, according to the Twitter account of the South African police force.

The suspect also faces a charge of armed robbery, said Nathi Mncube, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority.

Original Text

South Africa international and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was fatally shot on Sunday after he tried to protect his girlfriend from intruders.

The South African Police Service confirmed the news, announcing they had opened an investigation into the beloved player's death:

SA Police Service @SAPoliceService

@SAPoliceService Police are currently on the scene and are investigating circumstances surrounding his death.

The Police Service later provided more information on the incident that led to Meyiwa's death:

SA Police Service @SAPoliceService

Info at this stage is that 7 men entered the house. There was an altercation. #SenzoMeyiwa was shot. Suspects fled on foot.

SA Police Service @SAPoliceService

The incident happened at around 20h00, Zamo Section in Vosloorus. Reward of up to R150 000 is on offer 4 any info that can lead to arrest.

SA Police Service @SAPoliceService

Update: there were 7 people inside the house. Two suspects went into the house, one remained outside. The 3 fled on foot after the shooting

Provincial Community Safety official, Sizakele Nkosi-Malubane, told reporters of Meyiwa's efforts to protect girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, reported by Reuters via Eurosport:

"Two guys entered the house and demanded cellphones, money and other valuables," Nkosi-Malubane explained. "Senzo tried to protect Kelly because one of the men had a gun pointed towards her."

The Pirates also confirmed news of the keeper's death, issuing condolences via their Twitter account:

Orlando Pirates FC @orlandopirates

MEYIWA STATEMENT: The @Orlando_Pirates family has learned with sadness of the untimely death of our number 1 keeper & captain Senzo Meyiwa.

The 27-year-old was a member of the Pirates' squad that won back-to-back Premier Soccer League titles between 2010 and 2012, and one of the country's most popular players. He started Bafana Bafana's last four AFCON qualifiers and had yet to concede a single time, via Goal.com.

He played for Orlando in their 4-1 win over Ajax Cape Town on Saturday in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals.

Football journalist Melissa Reddy, who worked with Meyiwa, was devastated when she heard the news:

Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_

Senzo Meyiwa was special. So wonderful to work with, such a spirited soul - even when he wasn't first choice. Utterly devastating! #RIPSenzo

Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_

Senzo Meyiwa was always smiling. Always encouraging others and motivating himself. A great keeper. And a great person http://t.co/wg7ljWHdO7

More fans and journalists expressed their condolences, including Primedia Broadcasting's Yusuf Abramjee:

Yusuf Abramjee @Abramjee

#SenzoMeyiwa Very sad news. Our condolences go out to his family, friends, the sporting fraternity & the nation. #TurnBackCrime @CrimeLineZA

South African teammate Dean Furman joined the thousands reacting in shock and horror:

Dean Furman @de4no22

Beyond devastated at the loss of our captain & friend Senzo Meyiwa. thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends at this terrible time.

Details surrounding Meyiwa's death are scarce as police continue their investigation.

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