Senzo could have saved Bafana – dad

Bafana Bafana's loss to Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Equatorial Guinea on Monday night opened old wounds for Sam Meyiwa – father of slain national team goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.

Yesterday, Senzo’s dad said his son could have helped Bafana get a better result than their 3-1 loss, after going in front in the second half.

“When I watched the match, particularly the last part of the second half, I could not help thinking things could have turned out differently if he (Senzo) were still alive,” lamented Meyiwa.

“The match was a reminder that indeed the family and the nation lost a talented young person.” 

Before Senzo was murdered in October, he had kept several clean sheets for Bafana during the Afcon qualifiers – a fact many Bafana fans reflected on, especially considering at least two of Algeria’s goals were goalkeeping blunders. 

Darren Keet and his defender Thulani Hlatshwayo failed to communicate, resulting in the latter heading the ball into his own net in a desperate attempt to clear an off-course ball.

Algeria’s third goal was also soft – Keet misjudged a low shot, allowing it to slip under his body. The pain of the loss was further compounded by the missed penalty Tokello Rantie should have buried. 

But Senzo’s dad was somewhat upbeat about it, saying: “Even though they lost, they showed a lot of courage and determination. I’m confident they will do better in the remaining matches.” 

Meyiwa, who was initially opposed to the idea of his son following a soccer career as he wanted him to focus on his studies, said he eventually allowed Senzo to pursue his dream after realising he was committed to the sport.

“He had a very promising future and the family was proud of his achievements. As much as we try to come to terms with his passing, the void left by Senzo will be hard to fill,” Meyiwa said.

Senzo, who started his soccer career in the impoverished township of Umlazi, south of Durban, went on to become Bafana Bafana captain following an outstanding performance as Orlando Pirates goalkeeper.

Known for perpetually screaming instructions at defenders, he soon became the darling of the country’s soccer-loving fans.

While police vowed to put Senzo’s killers behind bars promptly, national police spokesperson Solomon Mokgale said arrests were yet to be made in connection with the murder – three months after the shooting.

“Investigations are continuing,” he said.

Senzo, who died at the age of 27, had made 150 appearances for the Buccaneers and seven for Bafana Bafana. 

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