DURBAN – Maritzburg United have expressed their shock after the death of one of their players, Luyanda Ntshangase, on Friday.
Ntshangase was struck by lightning while the Team of Choice were playing a friendly match against an amateur side two months ago.
He died at a local hospital on Friday. Ntshangase featured regularly for the Diski team.
“It is sad news for the club. We are still shocked. This happened at the wrong time, where the club is preparing for big weeks,” club chairman Farook Kadodia said.
"Luyanda was very close with the players. This can have a bad effect, but we are hopeful it won’t have the negative impact on the field of play."
United also lost Mlondi Dlamini in a car accident at the start of the season.
“The players went through this at the beginning of the season, and they were able to come back strongly. This is very sad for the club, and we are still shocked,” Kadodia said.
Two seasons back, United lost Mondli Cele in a car accident, while KZN football fans are still mourning the death of former midfielder Bheka Phakathi.
Phakathi will be laid to rest on Sunday.
United will face Free State Stars in the final of the Nedbank Cup on May 19 at the Cape Town Stadium.
Before that, they take on Lamontville Golden Arrows at Harry Gwala Stadium in an Absa Premiership encounter.
United are still adamant that they can finish third and qualify for the Confederation Cup. They are currently fourth and two points behind Kaizer Chiefs.
If they beat Arrows and Amakhosi lose to Ajax Cape Town, then United will finish third.