Masinga's son Sifiso and daughter Tinyiko at the memorial service. Photo by ANA.

NORTH WEST - Deceased Bafana Bafana striker Philemon “Chippa” Masinga  could still be alive if he had received specialised medical treatment earlier, mourners heard in Khuma, North West, on Tuesday at Masinga's memorial service.

“Maybe if Chippa was given attention he could be with us,” said former teammate Eric September. 

He said that former Bafana Bafana captain Neil Tovey had three heart-related complications but had survived. 

“Neil Tovey survived because he got attention earlier,” said September. 

Masinga died of cancer on 13 January in a Johannesburg hospital. He was 49. 

Mamelodi Sundowns official Alex Tshakoane said that club president Patrice Motsepe booked Masinga into a specialised hospital in Johannesburg after learning of his condition.

Motsepe wanted Masinga to get the best medical care even when it meant he had to pay from his pocket, said Tshakoane.

“The money we pledged was not used, because a day later we received the sad news. The money is not going back to Sundowns, it will go to the family.”

He added that Sundowns would pay for the education of Masinga’s children.

Tshakoane called on former football stars to look after themselves and their finances.

Sifiso, Mansinga’s son, said even if his father had received the best medical care, his life was still in God's hands. 

“No major professional can turn back our life if God had decided,” he said.

The North West Sport Development MEC, Sello Lehari, said the Khuma Stadium could be renamed after Masinga.  

Masinga will be laid to rest in Khuma on Thursday in a special provincial funeral.

Mourners sang, "Asiphelelanga ku shota uChippa" (we are not complete, Chippa is missing) to remember their hero.

A giant tent had been erected at the Masinga family home and the street leading to the house closed.

African News Agency (ANA)