Last week South Africa suffered more than one blow. Three individuals that flew our flag high and proud in many different countries and represented us passed away. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was a South African middle distance runner, and the 2009 world champion in the men’s 800 metres. His first global medal was a silver at the 2000 African Championships in Athletics. Born in 1980 and sadly passed on in a car crash on the 24 October 2014 at the age of 34.
On Monday morning, 26 October 2014, South Africa woke up to the devastating news that Orlando Pirates’ goal keeper and captain, as well as Bafana Bafana’s goalkeeper and captain, Senzo Meyiwa, was shot at his girlfriend’s house and passed away on his way to the hospital the night before. He passed on at the young age of 27.
As if these deaths were not enough, we hear before the end of the day that welterweight boxer Phindilie Mwelase, passed away after being in a coma for two weeks. She left the world at the age of 31 on Monday, 26 October.
Guess it is true when they say, “Death comes in three”. RIP to our fallen soldiers. Not forgetting former Kaizer Chiefs’ striker Valdez ‘Shaka’ Nqcobo, also has passed away at the age of 64 on Saturday, 1 November 2014.
None of these deaths raised as much controversial noise as Senzo Meyiwa’s. His dirty linen (linens to be exact) hung out for the whole world to judge. South Africa is angry, the soccer fraternity suffered a major knock losing Senzo. It was no more a Orlando Pirates loss, BUT South Africa’s and the soccer fraternity’s. Such young talent wasted like that, over a cellphone (which I struggle to believe but hey! that’s what the ‘feds’ telling us). SHOT! South Africa is losing grip of the trigger happy individuals. This is a second well-known individual making headlines because of gun violence in a year (Yes, Oscar is the other). Many of those who knew him shared stories of how he was humble and patient, great things were said about him. Which no one can take from him, except his scandal with pop singer Kelly Khumalo and wife Mandisa Mkhezi.
“Black Twitter“, notorious for attacking, bullying and adding insult to injury, went on a frenzy. Every second tweet on my timeline was about the triangle relationship. There were mixed reactions, many saying “Shame Kelly for what? What about his beautiful wife Mandisa?, others calling Kelly an adulterous witch, even going to the extent of blaming her for the death. I can see where these people came from, but I still cannot understand how we can sit behind our phones and start judging these people. Many of us are guilty for the same thing, but reality is, we aren’t in the lime light, so not many can be shamed like Senzo and Kelly were past week. No one waited to see what Mandisa had to stay. The media kept fueling Sam Meyiwa’s grief putting him behind a mic and forcing him to make many contradicting statements, not allowing him to mourn. I still wonder, WHERE WERE SENZO’S UNCLES? Are they not meant to represent the family and allow them to mourn? This one death that was made a circus of, on social media, online newspapers, and well, the media at large.
Publications such as Drum released very distasteful covers, all in the name of profits. Normal people like you and I, busy conspiring theories that either blamed Kelly or Mandisa for the death. “Christians” JUDGING and condemning Kelly and the Late Senzo, who’s body had not even turn cold. Using him as an example of what happens to those that break their wedding vows. What’s funny is, none of us know and understand the dynamics of Senzo’s relationship with Kelly or Mandisa. Today there are articles telling us that Mandisa actually WAS left for Kelly, and she accepted it. They did break up, seems like it was a matter of making it official because of the pressures that came from the Meyiwa family. But we were there attacking Kelly Khumalo. Anyway, there is a lot I have to say about this, but I won’t get into it, the bit I wrote is enough for now. Poor grieving girlfrend was not welcomed to the funeral, then was welcomed. I too would not have gone. Too many people are hurt and want to blame someone, Kelly was the perfect person. I believe her life would have been in danger had she went. Senzo’s daughter watched (not that she could comprehend) the funeral with her mother, gran and aunt. Question, isn’t there some ceremony/cleansing that lil Meyiwa needs to go through after the funeral?
Now many SOUTH AFRICANS (not I did not say black or white) are confused as to why these players received provincial “state” funerals. Who qualifies for one? As tax payers, I would be worried if no one wondered why is this. These individuals, did they not have funeral covers? Yes I understand that they are our heroes, but many heroes are still alive, are they going to get the same treatment? If this is what Senzo got for a send off, I am scared to see what the likes of Lucas Radebe were to pass away, from a violent crime like Senzo (God Forbid his happens) would receive as a send off! Will the government continue taking money that could be used for the country’s development to pay for the extraordinary funerals? Baby Jake passed away, he two represented us on the same level as these three. He put us on the map. But he was not given much attention. Is it because Tata Mandela’s death overshadowed him or is it because he did not die in a senseless manner (not shot)?
What happened to Senzo was TRAGIC and unforgivable. The bandits responsible for this need to be caught and punished (At the expense of taxpayers btw!)! But it is funny how, he is not the first high profile individual who lost his life this way. What about Lucky Dube? Or is this the first time the Government finds out that OUR BELOVED COUNTRY IS NOT RUN BY THEM BUT TRIGGER HAPPY FOOLS? Then I guess maybe that is why the Senzo Meyiwa gun law is only arising now! WELL DONE government for catching this problem and nipping it at the bud before it goes out of control hey. Frankly, SAFA can do whatever it wants with it’s money, but I really do not see the necessity of this statue… Correct me if I am wrong, Senzo is THE ONLY SOCCER PLAYER EVER TO BE SHOT? Right? So he deserve this statue (That’s going to be moulded from illegal firearms repossessed). Sh!#, I even heard that Sir Buthelezi is fuming because a bridge named after him in Kwa-Zulu Natal is to be renamed to The Senzo Meyiwa Bridge (How true is this, I do not know, so don’t shoot me!). I feel like we busy rewarding a cheater, despite his good qualities, we cannot ignore his affair. (Poor) Kelly is left to take ALL the blame and shame, when we all know it ‘takes two to tango’.
I believe things were exaggerated a bit, and for only one reason. To Save South Africa’s image after all the violent crimes making headlines continuously with high profiled individuals such as one of our ministers I believe and ol’ Oscar Pistorious. The SAPS had to, for some reason, tell us in a statement that Senzo’s case is not being treated differently because of who he is… Do YOU believe this? They also felt that they needed to tell us that they always offer a reward… Could be true yes, but hmmm. Then stories of people wanting Bheki Cele to come back filled the headlines too, why specifically to this case huh? These are just my opinions, but hey who am I? I ain’t gon get no state funeral.
What Orlando Pirates did for Meyiwa and the family is amazing and cannot go unnoticed. Retiring his Number 1 jersey is very Honorable, paying his family his full salary for three or is it six months and the beautiful uniform send off his team mates conducted (Did not watch the funeral, saw pictures though from newspapers). These are very GREAT and TASTEFUL acts/gestures. Thank you for showing the love and respect to your lost solider, friend, brother and son, he will never be replaced, but I do hope you are able to rebuilt your team as strong as it was with him on. Good luck with this task.
RIP to these three heroes, and specially, RIP to Senzo, I hope he is resting peacefully despite how his girlfriend was treated, how he was insulted and how his dirty linen(s) were out in the world to be judged.
Oh another thing, Gareth Cliff had the right to ask who is paying for the funeral(s), the response from “black Twitter” yes was expected, but I do not see how this became a racial thing when on the morning of the funeral I saw many tweets and retweets of people asking the same thing and expressing how they do not see why things escalated this far, and guess what, they were BLACK. The ANC account’s responses were very distasteful, unnecessary and rather uncouth.
Whoever is behind that account need to apologize to Gareth AND to the public. This is not the ANC Mandela fought for, he preached forgive and forget. To reconcile. A rainbow nation. That account just made the situation blow out of proportion, cause then other ‘fools’ (sorry there is no other way to describe these barbaric individuals, if this was you, I am not sorry) followed suit insulting and saying Gareth is racist. VERY IDIOTIC if you ask me.
“Death is a time to come closer and mourn or celebrate the life lost”
The past week was just a circus. The other two at least had decent send offs and were not disrespected in death. Senzo though… Despite that these are the ripple effects of what he did, it does not excuse how many of us behaved and attacked him and his girlfriend. Even the distasteful jokes about death and side chicks, forgetting that we are not immune to death. I agree with and respect the gestures of Orlando Pirates, but believe the others were just pushing it. These are my opinions, and I am entitled to them. It doesn’t make me right or wrong. You are allowed to add your opinions, criticism and add more information where I was wrong or lacked.
This is my two cents worth…