Mamelodi Sundowns defender Motjeka Madisha dies in car crash
Pretoria - The charred body of Mamelodi Sundowns defender Motjeka Madisha was retrieved from a burnt BMW 1-Series which crashed into a billboard structure on Zuurfontein Road outside Kempton Park after midnight yesterday.
Madisha’s death was reported just hours after the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Sandton. It is believed Madisha did not attend the event.
The 25-year-old, who earned 13 caps for the South Africa national team since 2015, scoring once, was travelling with one other person, who was also declared dead on the scene.
Despite that Madisha’s death was widely reported yesterday, Sundowns communications manager Shupi Nkgadima was reluctant to comment. “We have become aware of certain reports concerning Motjeka Madisha and will make an announcement in due course,” was all he would say.
Ekurhuleni Emergency Services spokesperson William Ntladi said the “horrific” accident took place near Ossewa Street at Chloorkop industrial hub, outside Kempton Park. “We received a call from the emergency services at around 12.05am. It was reported to be a vehicle on fire with entrapment inside. Firefighters responded and found that the vehicle was well on fire.”
He said firefighters extinguished the blaze.
“We found a charred body, which was quite unidentifiable to us. We could not see whether it was male or female. It was still trapped inside the burnt vehicle,” Ntladi said.
The other occupant was thrown out of the vehicle after it crashed into a pole, he said.
The body was found lying next to the vehicle and had sustained critical upper body burns and some injuries.
“We could not know who was who at that time, but as we were there some of the Sundowns players came and recognised the vehicle and that was when we knew that one of the persons involved was a known soccer player by the name of Motjeka Madisha,” Ntladi said.
He said the preliminary investigation on the scene revealed that the driver lost control of the vehicle, crashed into the pole and then the vehicle burst into flames.
“It was heavily raining and we operated under heavy downpours. We have unfortunately not established the identity of the second person,” Ntladi said.
The case was now in the hands of the SAPS, who responded to the fatal car crash in the early hours of yesterday, according to the provincial spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
“From what police have pieced together up to this point, the preliminary evidence suggests that the accident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning,” Peters said.
The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the pole of a billboard on Zuurfontein Road in Chloorkop.
“The car caught fire and the driver, who was trapped inside, perished inside it; the passenger, whose body was partially burnt, was found next to the car and he too was declared dead on the scene by Ekurhuleni Emergency Services,” Peters said.
Tributes have been pouring since the news of the death of the soccer star.
SA Football Association president Dr Danny Jordaan said: “I am still trying to ascertain facts of what really transpired, but this is terrible news for football. Condolences to Sundowns, his family and entire football family.”
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki also expressed shock at the death of the Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana defender. “It is so devastating for such an up-and-coming player to lose his life this way.
“They didn’t come more professional than the late Madisha. He was ever smiling, humble and the first to arrive and (last to) leave the training ground, hence his rising star status,’’ said Ntseki.
The tragic accident was the second loss for the Brazilians team. It recently mourned the death of Anele Ngcongca, 33, who died on the N2 outside Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast in a car crash.
The former Bafana right back, who played in Europe for many seasons, had just left Sundowns.
Last month another Sundowns player, Gift Mothupa, lost control of his white Golf 7 GTi and rolled off the R37 in Polokwane and crashed. He survived