Senzo Meyiwa, South Africa Soccer Captain, Shot, Killed In Home Invasion

Senzo MeyiwaJOHANNESBURG — The captain of South Africa’s national soccer team was fatally shot at a friend’s house during an attempted robbery on Sunday night, police said.

Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed around 8 p.m. after two gunmen entered a house in Vosloorus township near Johannesburg while an accomplice waited outside. The 27-year-old Meyiwa was shot in the upper body, police spokesman Brig. Neville Malila said Monday. Malila didn’t comment on local media reports that he was shot in the back trying to protect his girlfriend.

The three assailants then fled on foot, according to the police service, which offered a reward of nearly $14,000 for information leading to arrests in the case.

Malila said investigators were treating the incident as an attempted robbery, and a murder investigation was underway. He said no arrests had yet been made and there had been seven people in the house before the two intruders entered. No one else was injured.

Malila also declined to comment on if the shooting took place at the home of Meyiwa’s girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, a South African singer and celebrity, only saying it was at the house of Meyiwa’s “friend.”

Nothing was taken from the house, Malila said, but he couldn’t rule out that the gunmen had demanded cellphones, cash and other valuables from the occupants.

Meyiwa played for South Africa’s hugely popular Orlando Pirates club and the police force said late Sunday on its Twitter account that it was breaking protocol to announce his death soon after the shooting.

Dean Furman, one of Meyiwa’s national teammates, wrote on Twitter:

Meyiwa was recently made South Africa’s captain and led the team in four qualifiers for the 2015 African Cup of Nations this year, including its last game, a 0-0 draw with Republic of Congo on Oct. 15. He played for Orlando Pirates on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in a cup competition.

South African President Jacob Zuma released a statement on Meyiwa’s death, saying “words cannot express the nation’s shock at this loss.”

“The law enforcement authorities must leave no stone unturned in finding his killers and bring them to justice,” Zuma said.

Photo by Themba Hadebe/The Associated Press

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