Pretoria - 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 on Thursday 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.