The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN football giants Highlanders have sent a condolence message to their South African counterparts, Orlando Pirates following the death of staunch Buccaneers fan Mandla Sindane, popularly known as “Mgijimi” who died on Monday.
In statement sent out on Wednesday, Highlanders chief executive officer, Nhlanhla Dube said the death of Sindane, known for his passionate support for Pirates is not only a loss for the Sea Robbers and his family but for the football fraternity.
“Mgijimi was renowned for his colourful, passionate and energetic and presence at just about every Orlando Pirates match. To us, the death of Mgijimi is not only a blow to the Sindane family and Orlando Pirates FC, but to football in general, for the simple fact that football is the biggest beneficiary of such passion,’’ Dube said.
The death of Sindane comes at a time when the Pirates family is mourning the death of Martina Elsie Khoza, the wife of the club’s president, Irvin Khoza, who passed away last week.
“It is sad that the passing on a staunch fan and significant member of the club comes at a time when Dr Khoza and his Orlando Pirates family are mourning Dr Khoza’s wife, Martina Elsie Khoza who passed away a few days ago.”
Highlanders fans shared the terraces with Sindane at a packed Barbourfields Stadium in January last year when Pirates took on FC Platinum in a Caf Champions League group stage fixture which concluded 0-0.
Just to show the impact the man known as Mgijimi made on the South African football scene, his death was received with shock, with condolence messages coming from among others, Pirates, the South African Football Association and well-known South African broadcaster Robert Marawa.
Sindane is said to have died in his sleep on Monday night but his body was only discovered on Tuesday morning at his place in Empumelelweni, Emalahleni in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.