Soweto Derby – Remembering Senzo Meyiwa
On the 26th of October 2014, police reported that two men entered a house in the Ekhuruleni Vosloorus township around 20H00, and shot Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa. Reports allege that Meyiwa was shot in the presence of his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, following an altercation. Following the shooting, the two, joined by a third suspect who had been waiting outside fled on foot from the scene. Senzo was declared dead on arrival at a hospital in Johannesburg. As a mark of respect, the Soweto derby match between Orlando Pirates and their arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs, which was due to be played on 1 November 2014, was postponed.
A year has gone by and police seem no closer to making any arrests, but the derby continues. The derby has lost one of its sons. The goalkeeper is remembered as a colourful character. His lime green goalkeeping outfit, and his celebrations at the other end of the pitch when Pirates scored. Although Brighton Mhlongo did well to fill Senzo’s big boots between the poles, there’s no denying that he still lives in the shadow of his predecessor.
But Brighton is injured going into this weekend’s derby, which means that either Felipe Ovono or Siyabonga Mphontshane will have to do what Senzo did. That job is made more difficult by the fact that Pirates are struggling for domestic form. The Buccaneers have won just 3 in 10 domestic matches this season and face an Amakhosi side with a point to prove. New coach Steve Khompela is still looking for his first major PSL Trophy after they were beaten by Ajax Cape Town in the final of the MTN8. And after a spate of draws, Khompela and Amakhosi will be hungry for a victory in order to silence the growing rumble of critics that believe Khompela is not fit to coach Chiefs. But despite Pirates’poor domestic form, they are through to the CAF Confederations Cup final, which might be the problem. You’d swear that the players’ focus is somewhere on the African continent and not in the PSL. Even their fans forgive the players because they believe they will win another continental title. It’s gonna be a hectic 3 weeks for the Sea Robbers with back to back Soweto Derbies and then the big CAF Confed Cup final.
With Kermit Erasmus already declaring that they want to do well in the continental cup, on behalf of Senzo, one can’t help but think: Will Senzo be looking down on them this weekend and then again on the 21st of November?
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