27 Oct 2014

South Africa captain shot dead

1:38 pm on 27 October 2014

South Africa football captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead near Johannesburg.

Senzo Meyiwa in action

Senzo Meyiwa in action Photo: AFP

Police say Meyiwa was killed at a house about 20 kilometres south of the city.

The 27-year-old Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was shot after two men entered a house in Vosloorus where Meyiwa was visiting.

The intruders fled, along with a third man who had been waiting outside. Other people in the house were unharmed.

Local media said the intruders had demanded a mobile phone.

Meyiwa captained South Africa in their last four matches in the African Nations Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal and played on the weekend when his club advanced to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.

News of the shooting prompted widespread sympathy on social media and condemnation of South Africa's rampant gun violence.

National team-mate Tsepo Masilela Tweeted: "How do you kill someone for a cellphone?"

Belgian-based goalkeeper Darren Keet, who had been Meyiwa's understudy over the last four internationals, Tweeted: "When does it STOP South Africa?"

Meyiwa's death follows that of another prominent South African sportsman, former world 800 metres champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, killed in a car accident on two days previously.

Violent gun crime in South Africa has been highlighted by the trial of Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius, who was given a five-year jail sentence for culpable homicide after shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

More than 17,000 people were murdered in South Africa between April 2013 and March 2014, an increase of about 800 over the previous year, according to police figures.