Tears flowed down the cheeks of sport lovers on Thursday as videos of three dead sport stars played in Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Arena.
Athlete Caster Semenya broke down when a video of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi’s sporting highlights was played. She was given tissues to wipe away the tears. With her head bowed, a friend consoled her.
Orlando Pirates faithful in their club regalia consoled each other as the video of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa was played.
Sport fans from all walks of life joined hands on Thursday to pay homage to Meyiwa, who was shot dead in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, while visiting his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo on Sunday evening. Two men entered the house, demanded cellphones, and shot him before fleeing.
Former world champion 800m sensation Mulaudzi was killed in a car accident in Mpumalanga on Friday. He was on his way to Johannesburg when he lost control of his car.
Welterweight boxer Phindile Mwelase died on Saturday after being in coma for two weeks following a bout.
The service — attended by dignitaries including ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan, and Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba — started nearly an hour late.
Among the athletes to pay homage were South African hammer throw legend Chris Harmse, Olympic silver medallist Semenya, former Bafana Bafana captain Ithumeleng Khune, and Orlando Pirates player Lucky Lekgwathi SAPA