South African football was dealt another stunning blow after Mamelodi Sundowns player Motjeka Madisha died in a car accident on Sunday morning.
The 25-year-old‚ and another person who was travelling with him‚ died when their vehicle crashed into a steel pole in wet conditions and burst into flames near Kempton Park.
It is not clear who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.
City of Ekurhuleni disaster and emergency management services spokesman William Ntladi told TimesLIVE on Sunday that his team received the call just after midnight and they were shaken when they found the sports vehicle engulfed in a ball of fire on Zuurfontein road in Chloorkop.
He said their preliminary findings revealed that the driver of the vehicle lost control and hit a steel pole next to the road‚ and one person was thrown out while the other one was trapped inside the burning car.
The passenger who was ejected from the vehicle also suffered burn wounds.
“On arrival [at the scene] the vehicle was still burning‚ but we managed to contain the blaze and extinguished it‚” he said.
“And then following information that there was still somebody trapped inside [the vehicle]‚ we then did search and rescue [but] could not distinguish whether it was a male or female inside‚ given the state of the body inside the vehicle.
“There was another person lying outside next to the vehicle‚ [who] also sustained critical burn wounds on the upper body.
“These two occupants [found] at the scene were declared dead by paramedics.
“It is not known what actually caused the crash and it is still under investigation by the South African Police Services.”
Ntladi said they operated with great difficulty under wet conditions after the showers that swept over Johannesburg in the last few days.
They were also affected by the devastation they had to deal with at the scene.
“It was also very difficult for us‚” he said.
“You know‚ we are rescuing people everyday but such incidences [are not very common].
“We do not see them very often.”
“Jah‚ that one touched everyone who was [at the scene] because the manner in which the person died‚ and how he burned inside that vehicle…”
Madisha’s death comes just weeks after former Bafana defender Anele Ngcongca also died in a horrific car accident.
Ngcongca died in a car crash on the N2 outside Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast last month and was buried in his hometown in Cape Town a few days ago.
Insiders told TimesLIVE that Madisha and Ngcongca were roommates at Sundowns whenever the team was in camp.
Ntladi said police are investigating the case and would not be drawn into allegations that Madisha’s vehicle may have been hit by another car‚ which failed to stop and sped away after the accident.
Sundowns also sent out a statement on Sunday afternoon dismissing claims that Madisha was coming from an event hosted by the club when the accident occurred.
The Chloorkop side held its 50th anniversary celebration at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday but Sundowns said the player did not attend.
“Reports that Madisha was at a gala event [on Saturday] are false and reckless! Mr Madisha was not part of the event or proceedings‚” the statement said.
“Personal and professional request: Can we please allow the respective families to process the necessary information with the relevant authorities.”