South African football club chairman shot dead after meeting

Nicholas Mkhize, the chairman of South African National First Division side Uthongathi FC, was killed in a shooting outside the club on Monday night.

Mkhize was shot in his car as he prepared to leave a meeting with the club's technical team on Monday evening, club director Nkosinathi Chili confirmed on Tuesday morning.

"When he entered his car, he closed
the door and was about to start the car, but he didn't start it. Then there was a lot of gun shots," Chili told Kickoff.com.

"They [the shooter(s)] were just monitoring us and they used the chance. He was shot dead."

Mkhize was a businessman who operated a number of taxis in the area, and also a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, representing the ruling African National Congress. He was formerly a member of South Africa's parliament between 2009 and 2010.

Uthongathi will ask the Premier Soccer League to postpone their next fixture, a KwaZulu-Natal derby against Real Kings on Saturday, and the players will not train on Tuesday, but will gather at the club's base.

"Today we'll meet with the players and there will be no training, just to come and pray with the players and see how we go from there," Chili said.

"In this situation we'll be guided by the family if he's laid to rest this weekend or another day. But we'll write a letter to the PSL to ask for the postponement of our game.

"Even our players, as they know that I'm the communications manager of the team, others were bold enough to phone me and I told them to remain at the club house. We'll speak to them today this morning, they shouldn't panic.

"We feel they'll need counselling and we also informed our KZN MEC for Sport [Bongi Sithole-Moloi] that we are faced with the tragic passing of our chairman."

The shooting is reminiscent of the slaying of Mbabane Swallows football boss Victor Gamedze in Swaziland earlier this year as he was gunned down at a petrol station.

Sipho Shongwe, the director of fellow Swaziland Premier League side Matsapha United was arrested and charged for the killing, with the case yet to come to trial.



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