I WOKE up on Monday morning to the shocking news that South Africa’s football captain Senzo Meyiwa died after he was shot during what police believe to have been a burglary.

Reports suggest he may have died trying to defend his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, at her house near Johannesburg.

It came less than 24 hours after the goalkeeper helped Orlando Pirates beat Ajax Cape Town in the quarter-final of the South African League Cup.

I did not know him, nor knew much about him, but when I read the tributes, everyone has described him as a family man, a humble man and even a hero.

Even South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, spoke about how “words cannot express the nation’s shock at this loss.”

We didn’t just lose a footballer, a family lost a son and a child lost a dad.

There is never a good age for someone to die, but at 27 life hasn’t really started so it’s even more of a tragedy to have them stolen away.

the three robbers, who reportedly demanded mobile phones and valuables, got away on foot after the shooting and nobody has been arrested.

It has once again put the spotlight on South Africa’s high crime rates, particularly involving guns.

The Senzo shooting hasn’t helped the country’s image, particularly so soon after the marathon trial of Oscar Pistorius.

South Africa has to be asking itself deep questions about the history of violence that has killed some of its best talent.

It has not just touched the country’s sporting world – seven years ago renowned South African reggae singer Lucky Dube was killed in a robbery.

After dropping two of his children at their uncle’s house, police reports suggested he was shot dead by carjackers who did not recognize him.

With two positive role models being killed, one for just a mobile phone and the other for his car, surely that must spark someone in power to do something.

The events of the weekend have left me in a state of shock even now.

Senzo Meyiwa’s death is a great loss and I only hope his murder sparks a movement to stop the gun violence, not only in South Africa but all around the world.

Rest in peace, Senzo.

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