JOHANNESBURG >> The captain of South Africa’s national soccer team was fatally shot when armed men broke into the house where he was staying, police said.
Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed Sunday after two gunmen entered a house in Vosloorus township near Johannesburg while an accomplice waited outside, the national police force said on its Twitter account. 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.
Police said there were seven people in the house at the time of the attack, and that the shooting followed an “altercation.”
South African soccer club Orlando Pirates confirmed Meyiwa’s death, saying in a statement that it “has learned with sadness about the untimely death of our number one goalkeeper and current captain Senzo Meyiwa.”
“This is a sad loss whichever way you look at it — to Senzo’s family, his extended family, Orlando Pirates and to the nation,” Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said.
Meyiwa was South Africa’s captain in its four qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations this year, including its last game, a 0-0 draw with Republic of Congo on Oct. 15.
It’s the second death to hit South African sports in three days, as former 800-meter world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash on Friday. At the time, President Jacob Zuma said “the nation has lost a true hero.”