South Africa football captain shot dead

Johannesburg: South African football team captain Senzo Meyiwa has been shot dead at a house in Vosloorus township, authorities said.

Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale said 27-year-old Meyiwa was gunned down and declared dead on admission to hospital late Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Senzo MeyiwaSouth African footballer Senzo Meyiwa. Photo: AFP

"We can confirm that goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot and sadly declared dead on arrival at hospital," the South African Police Service (SAPS) said on its Twitter account.

"The incident happened at around 2000 SA time (1800 GMT) in Vosloorus," said police who did not comment on some media reports that the shooting was sparked by a row over a mobile phone.

"There was an altercation and Senzo Meyiwa was shot. The three suspects fled on foot after the shooting.

"We can assure South Africans that we will do all we can to bring Meyiwa's killers to book,". the police added

After many years in the South African football shadows, Meyiwa had a meteoric climb to fame with club and country.

He displaced national squad goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs as first-choice at Pirates, the only South African side to be crowned African champions.

And a recent injury to South Africa captain and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune gave Meyiwa a chance in the national team, popularly known as Bafana Bafana (The Boys).

New national coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba not only promoted Durban-born Meyiwa to replace Khune but also made him captain of a team that has been in the doldrums for some years.

Meyiwa responded to his promotion by leading the team to victories over Sudan and Congo Brazzaville and draws with Congo and Nigeria, a country South Africa traditionally struggle against.

He did not concede a goal in the four matches and if Souith Africa defeat Sudan in eastern city Nelspruit on October 15 they will qualify the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

He was also made captain of Pirates and helped the club defeat Ajax Cape Town 4-1 Saturday in a South African League Cup quarter-final. Meyiwa gave a flawless performance and the only Ajax attempt that beat Meyiwa came from a penalty kick.

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