Next weekend was meant to be a big day for TS Galaxy players, as they would have paraded their Nedbank Cup trophy.
Instead they will be burying one of their own, Thembinkosi Khumo Mbamba, who died in a car accident in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Last weekend the 23-year-old winger played a huge role when he helped Galaxy beat Kaizer Chiefs in the final of the Nedbank Cup. The club made history by becoming the first side from the NFD to win a major PSL trophy.
Galaxy were supposed to celebrate their newly found fame this weekend, but had to reschedule to next weekend because of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration yesterday.
The club released a statement confirming the tragic news.
“It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the sad passing of TS Galaxy FC player Thembinkosi Mbamba (23), fondly nicknamed Bashin by his team-mates.”
Club president Tim Sukazi said: “We, at TS Galaxy, are deeply saddened by the passing of this rising star. Thembinkosi had a bright future ahead of him. The football fraternity at large has lost one of the most promising youngsters. We wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the messages of condolence received by the club. On behalf of the club, its management, players and supporters, I would like to convey our commiserations with the Mbamba family. Akuhlanga lungehlanga. It is God’s will.”
Sukazi later told City Press that he was not sure if next weekend’s celebrations would still go ahead as planned.
“It will depend on what the family decides on the funeral day. Our parade is scheduled for Sunday and we will know later in the week whether it goes ahead or not,” said a distraught Sukazi.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that a memorial service would be held on Thursday at the Duduza Multipurpose Centre, followed by the funeral service at the same venue on Saturday.
Mbamba is the second player to perish in a car accident this year. Last month, Free State Stars lost winger Sinethemba Jantjie in another car accident.