Free State Stars captain, Paulus Masehe flanked by his teammates, promised to dedicate the remaining games to the departed midfielder at the funeral in Whittlesea yesterday. Photo: I'solezwe lesiXhosa.

Free State Stars captain, Paul Masehe, described Sinethemba “Ntsimbi” Jantjie as a brilliant footballer vowed that the team will dedicate all the remaining six matches to him. Jantjie was laid to rest at his home in Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape yesterday (Saturday). 

He passed away in a horrific accident on Monday morning (01 April) in Bethlehem, in the Free State. The 30-year-old left behind two children and five siblings. 

He joined the Ea Lla Koto in 2016 from Mbombela United who are playing at First National Division. Jantjie’s sudden death has saddened the multitudes in the soccer fraternity who thought he had a lot to offer even though he started playing at professional level very late. Masehe told mourners on Saturday that the club has lost a good player and person that was full of life.

“Sinethemba started playing professional football at the age of 26, but with his body and how he handled himself as an athlete – he would have easily reached forty years playing because he was of those most talented and rare players. What caught our attention as Free State Stars was not just him as a player. His personality was amazing. We got caught by his personality and loved him even more because of the person he was – not the player he was. I think some of my teammates can agree with me when it comes to that. He was vibrant, full of life and amazing. Jantjie would crack jokes even when the situation is difficult for us”

“He used to joke: ‘Hey skipper, don’t worry. We are going to get out of relegation’. The last joke he made was on Saturday before a friendly game we played on Sunday (last week). While we busy with warm-ups, Him, Makhehleni, Dlamini and Phungwayo – he said, please skipper, tell Makhehleni and Phungwayo that I am older than them. That is how we love and learnt to grow with Ntsimbi. And I don’t have more words; we have already celebrated his life the whole week. We are going to dedicate each and every game we are going to him. May his soul rest in peace,” said Masehe.

Sinethemba was one of the players who helped Free State Stars win the Nedbank Cup for the first time in history in 2018. He was going to leave Stars and join Bidvest Wits before the 2019/20 season. 

IOL Sport