DURBAN – Bheka Phakathi was one of the legends earmarked to analyse the World Cup at the number one radio station in South Africa, Ukhozi FM.
This was confirmed by Irvin Sihlophe, who is one of the regional managers at Ukhozi in KwaZulu-Natal in the sports department.
The World Cup will take place in Russia next month.
“We worked well with Phakathi. He wasn’t only good at playing football, he was also good at analysing the game. He was one of the people we were looking to help us during the World Cup,” Sihlophe said.
Phakathi, 43, played his football at Lamontville Golden Arrows, Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United.
He was laid to rest yesterday in Lamontville LTA cemetery, and his service was held at Yellowood Park Civic Hall where plenty of former football players gathered.
Former players like Sithembiso Ngcobo, Nhlanhla Mshibe, Thanduyise Khuboni and Japhet Zwane were present at the service.
Phakathi was married to Amanda Ndokweni. They were married in 1999.
They had four children - Kwanele, Luyanda, Lwazi and Khayelihle.
Phakathi made one appearance for Bafana Bafana.
Royal Eagles chairlady Shauwn Mpisane described Phakathi as a true family man.
“Amanda (Phakathi’s wife), Bheka loved you. His family and football were in Bheka’s priorities. He was the true definition of a family man. I didn’t know Bheka, but my husband (Sbu Mpisane) introduced him to me. Whenever we were in camp he would ask for time to communicate with his family,” Mpisane said.
Phakathi was due to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary with Amanda next year.
Phakathi won the league with Pirates in 2002/03 under Roy Barreto.
Arrows assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi portrayed Phakathi as a gallant man.
“I’ve never seen a man as brave as Phakathi. He fought for his story. He always wanted excellence. Although he wasn’t at Arrows recently his love for the club was something you couldn’t take away from him."
“A couple of weeks ago we met and he expressed his unhappiness about the state of the team, when we were still fighting relegation. That’s how much he loved Arrows,” Ncikazi lamented.
Phakathi propelled Umvoti FC to the national play-offs in the ABC Motsepe League.
They finished champions in KwaZulu-Natal. The national play-offs will take place next month in Limpopo.