Condolences from local sports officials streamed in yesterday after influential administrator Banele Sindani, pictured right, was killed in a robbery at his Ruimsig home yesterday morning.
Sindani’s nephew, Phelelani Sindani, said his 60-year-old uncle was shot once in the abdomen and died at the scene. The robbers stole a TV and a cellphone.
“He was a great administrator and he would not shy away from confrontational issues. He was a brave man and will be sadly missed,” said South Africa’s International Olympic Committee executive member Sam Ramsamy.
SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) chief executive Tubby Reddy also paid tribute, saying: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of such an influential sports administrator who contributed immensely to SA sport for more than two decades.”
Athletics SA (ASA) president Aleck Skhosana said Sindani’s death had rocked the athletics community. “We convey our condolences to Sindani’s family on behalf of the entire athletics family,” Skhosana said.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula called for the police to track down Sindani’s killer, adding: “His passing was sudden and shocking to all of us.” Sindani’s administrative work, which included roles as chief executive of Sascoc and ASA, was not without controversy.
He was implicated in a damning audit report a few years ago when it was revealed that disgraced former ASA president Leonard Chuene and other board members had paid Sindani R1.76 million as a consultant, though he had not done substantial work, in contravention of a decision made by the federation’s board.
But he was well respected for the role he played in unity talks and transformation in the early ’90s, and as a founder of the Soweto Marathon.