Senzo Meyiwa, the goalkeeper for the South African national soccer team, was shot dead in a horrific attack in Vosloorus, near Johannesburg, on October 26. In the month before his death, Meyiwa had just been named South Africa’s captain. He was just 27 years old.
Between April 2013 and March 2014, there have more than 17,000 murders in South Africa.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. He Died While Trying to Protect His Girlfriend
According to Sport 24, Meyiwa was at his girlfriend’s house when a group of men broke in. Police said that there were seven people in the home with Meyiwa. Two men went into the house to rob it with another suspect waiting outside. Three people were seen fleeing the area after the killing. The BBC reports that Meyiwa was trying to protect his girlfriend from the gunmen when he was shot dead.
He was declared dead at the hospital. Police are offering a reward of more than $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
2. He Just Played For His Team the Day Before He Was Shot
He just played for his team, the Orlando Pirates, in a 4-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town on October 25. In his last tweet, Meyiwa commended his teammates.
3. Soccer Stars Around the World Have Been Paying Tribute to Meyiwa
As news of Meyiwa’s death spread, there has been outpouring of emotion on Twitter.
4. Meyiwa Was Dating South African Singer Kelly Khumalo
In September, it was reported by the Sunday World that he was dating Kelly Khumalo. In April 2014, it was reported that Meyiwa had left his wife, Mandisa Mkhize, for Khumalo.
5. He Was Playing the Best Soccer of His Career
In addition to his club career, he had made six appearances for the South African national soccer team. You can watch a video about his promotion to the South African captaincy here. South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement:
We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose life has been taken away at the prime of his career. Words cannot express the nation’s shock at this loss.
He was a native of Durban, South Africa, and had played for Orlando since 2005.
Since being promoted to captain, Meyiwa hadn’t conceded a goal for South Africa.