CRICKET DEATHS SHOCK

Two coaches killed; two fight for lives af­ter at­tack in Laudium

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - GOITSEMANG TLHABYE goitsemang.tlhabye@inl.co.za

ONE of the two men fight­ing for their lives in hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing an at­tack at the Laudium Cricket club­house was the an­nouncer when the city’s cricket fran­chise, Mul­ti­ply Ti­tans, won the Mo­men­tum eKasi Chal­lenge Cup on Wed­nes­day.

The Ti­tans were play­ing in the Jukskei derby against the Highveld Li­ons in Ham­man­skraal. KFC Mini-Cricket co-or­di­na­tor Kag­iso Ma­subelele, and Laudium Hub head coach Obed Har­vey Ag­bo­madzie, both 27, sur­vived the hor­rific at­tack and were rushed to hos­pi­tal. They had been found in one of the rooms.

How­ever, coaches Given Nkosi, 24, and Charles Maseko, 25, were found in the bath­room, dead. The Laudium club is an af­fil­i­ate of the Ti­tans, and all four lived at the club­house.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Ti­tans, Jacques Faul, said: “One of the (in­jured) man has al­ways been cru­cial to cricket de­vel­op­ment and has a sparkling per­son­al­ity, hence we had asked him to be the an­nouncer. It’s shaken us all up.”

Faul said the en­tire staff was shocked at hear­ing the news of the deaths and at­tacks on mem­bers of their club. “The club has gone from a high af­ter win­ning the Mo­men­tum eKasi Chal­lenge Cup to an all-time low af­ter hear­ing of the at­tack,” he added.

Cricket South Africa ex­pressed “deep sad­ness” at the death of two of its coaches and the crit­i­cal in­juries to two oth­ers. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Ha­roon Lor­gat said: “This has come as a huge shock to the en­tire Cricket SA fam­ily.”

Spec­u­la­tion in the com­mu­nity was that the men were blud­geoned with train­ing equip­ment. The bod­ies of Nkosi and Maseko, were found at the club­house yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Po­lice said the in­jured Ma­subelele and Ag­bo­madzie were rushed to a nearby hos­pi­tal.

Nkosi’s mother Li­nah said her son had said he would die play­ing cricket – and a cricket club was where his life ended. Li­nah said she would al­ways re­mem­ber her son by those words.

Li­nah said her son had loved play­ing cricket from when he was 8 years old, but he stopped briefly when he got a job at Wool­worths. “How­ever, some time af­ter get­ting the job, he in­formed the fam­ily that he was no longer happy there and wanted to re­turn to play­ing cricket full-time for the Ti­tans,” the tear­ful mom said. “When­ever we asked him, he’d al­ways say he loved the Ti­tans and play­ing cricket. He said he’d con­tinue to play un­til he died and that is ex­actly what hap­pened.”

Jan Masemola, Maseko’s un­cle, said all his nephew would ever talk about was how much he loved cricket; so much so that he had moved out of home and went to stay at the club­house. Masemola saw his nephew a week ago and he had never men­tioned be­ing threat­ened or hav­ing any is­sues at the club, he said.

“If any­thing, the last we saw him he was happy that his team was go­ing to play a tour­na­ment in Soshanguve,” he said.

“We are sur­prised that this hap­pened with­out any warn­ing or provo­ca­tion. I feel sorry for my sis­ter for losing her son so un­ex­pect­edly,” he said.

Po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Au­gusti­nah Selepe said a case of mur­der and as­sault with in­tent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm had been opened fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of the bod­ies. Noth­ing had been been stolen from the club­house and the mo­tive of the at­tack was still un­known, Selepe said.

“Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed the two men died ow­ing to head in­juries,” she said.

The bod­ies were found at about 7am by res­i­dent, Umar As­sad, who was prac­tis­ing cricket. He in­formed the se­cu­rity guards who alerted po­lice.

Res­i­dents were shocked by the grue­some at­tack and called for harsher penal­ties against crim­i­nals as they were clearly not afraid of the reper­cus­sions any­more.

“We ap­peal to any­one with any in­for­ma­tion to call their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion or call 08600 10111,” Selepe said.

PIC­TURE: THOBILE MATHONSI/ANA

Given Nkosi’s grand­mother, Anna Mathe­bula, breaks down af­ter hear­ing of his death at Laudium Cricket Oval yes­ter­day. He was one of the two coaches killed. Two oth­ers were se­ri­ously in­jured.

PIC­TURE: THOBILE MATHONSI/ANA

An ev­i­dence bag con­tain­ing some of the be­long­ings of the slain coaches.

Given Nkosi

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