Passing on its sympathies on the club’s website, Orlando Pirates Football Club said it is disheartened to learn of the passing away of their former player Bheka Phakathi.
Phakathi, who played for the Mighty Buccaneers between of 2002 and 2005, was coaching ABC Motsepe outfit Mvithi at the time of his passing.
The team he had led the Playoffs after an astonishing season in the KZN stream.
“On behalf of the entire Orlando Pirates family we might want to pass on our most profound and sincere sympathies to the Phakathi family and pray that God gives comfort in this season of agony,” the club said.
Safa-Net wrote on Tuesday that the South African Football Association (SAFA) has joined millions of football fans that are in grieving.
Phakathi lost his life on Sunday on April 29, 2018, in a car accident while he was on his way to training at ABC Motsepe League club Umvoti FC.
He was 43.
Phakathi rose to conspicuousness while at Lamontville Golden Arrows in Durban before making the trek to Johannesburg to play for Pirates.
After his spell with the Buccaneers, he came back to Arrows.
He also turned out for Maritzburg United, before hanging up his boots in December 2010.
At the season of his passing on, Phakathi was the head coach at Umvoti FC in KZN, whom he prompted the team title, and was occupied with arrangements for the forthcoming National First Division (NFD) playoffs.
He only made one appearance for Bafana, featuring in the 1-0 defeat to Zimbabwe in the quarterfinal of the COSAFA Castle Cup on July 19, 2003.
“SAFA is in grieving for the sudden and lamentable loss of the life of Bheka Phakathi. We join a large number of fans in the football family as we pass on our most profound sympathies to his family, relatives, companions, and fans around the country. At this stage, our thoughts and prayers go to everybody who knew him. May his soul rest in peace,” said SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble.
As of late, a few footballers lost their lives in car crashes – Cecil Lolo (Ajax Cape Town – 2015); Mondli Cele (Maritzburg United – 2016); Mondli Dlamini (Maritzburg United – 2017) and not so long ago, Mogau Tshehla (Polokwane City – 2018).
“This is tragic to know about another footballer/mentor that has lost his life in a car crash, and again brings to the fore the debate of safety on our roads.”
Phakathi also coached NFD side Royal Eagles on an interim basis and was the assistant to Shaun Bartlett when Golden Arrows won the National First Division title in 2015/16 season.