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City of Joburg Mayor Parks Tau, Sam Meyiwa and SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan. Picture by Kick Off.

The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau on Thursday, October 30th, joined an emotionally charged joint memorial service attended by families of three South African sports icons who recently lost their lives – just days apart.

Speaking shortly after the memorial of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa, athlete Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and boxer Phindile Mwelase at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg, Mayor Tau described the trio as “extraordinary and inspirational young people”. The memorial is symbolic of how these young people have inspired us through their achievements in various sporting codes with their ability to make us sit back and admire their skills and bravery,” he said.

Mayor Tau noted that it was in Johannesburg that soccer star Meyiwa, athletics champ Mulaudzi and brave boxer Mwelase had an opportunity to display their sporting talents.

“While we will never again be able to marvel at the extraordinary dexterity and skills of Senzo Meyiwa, admire the pure natural grace and talent of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, or wonder at the grit and courage of Phindile Mwelase, we must hold on to our memories of them and take sustenance from their lives and achievements,” he said.

“We often talk about the extraordinary ability of sport to unite a nation and inspire its people to greatness. However, today we unite in grief. Let us use this moment of shared grief, to recommit ourselves collectively to the efforts of eradicating crime and lawlessness that often results in senseless loss of lives in our cities throughout South Africa,” Mayor Tau said.

“Together lets create a society grounded on mutual respect and cooperation in dealing with crime in our communities,” he said.

Meyiwa was killed on Sunday night by unidentified gunmen. This was as South Africa was already reeling from the recent loss of Mulaudzi in a car accident and Mwelase’s death after she was beaten into a coma during a boxing match.

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