Uthongathi director Nkosinathi Chili has confirmed that the National First Division club’s chairman Nicholas Mkhize tragically passed away last night.
The club’s chairman was allegedly gunned down in his car after Uthongathi’s weekly teaching report meeting concluded on Monday.
Chili says the club has cancelled their training for the day while confirming that their NFD clash against rivals the Real Kings on Saturday is unlikely to go ahead after what conspired yesterday.
‘We hardly slept,’ Chili told KickOff.
‘Every Monday at 5pm we do have a technical team report if either we played or we didn’t play over the weekend, to let us know what is that they are seeing because we had friendly games since it was the Fifa week.
‘It is about their analysis and preparedness for the KZN derby against Real Kings. You know when you play against Real Kings, to us it’s a derby. So after that meeting, one of our board members decided to close it with a prayer.
‘Afterwards we all left the meeting. Everyone was rushing to his own place because we normally finish at 8:15pm. And when we went out, everyone goes to his car, and there are times when one just stands with someone and talks, and he [Mkhize] was standing with one of our board members.
‘After that board member moved to his car, he [Mkhize] moved to his car and when he entered his car, closed the door and was about to start the car, he didn’t start it. Then there was a lot of gunshots.
‘They were just monitoring us and they used the chance. Then he was shot dead and he couldn’t move.’
He added: ‘Today we’ll meet with the players at 10am and there will be no training, just to come and pray with the players and see how we go from there.’
Saddened & shocked to hear of the tragic passing of the Uthongathi FC chairman Mr Mkhize. Condolences to his family & all at the club.
— The NFD (@the_nfd) September 11, 2018
The Uthongathi director also revealed that the club will make contact with the Premier Soccer League to postpone their upcoming fixture at the Princess Magogo Stadium.
‘In this situation, we’ll be guided by the family if he’s laid to rest this weekend or another day. But we’ll write a letter to the PSL to ask for the postponement of our game.
‘Even our players, as they know that I’m the communications manager of the team, others were bold enough to phone me and I told them to remain at the clubhouse. We’ll speak to them today this morning, they shouldn’t panic.
‘We feel they’ll need counselling and we also informed our KZN MEC for Sport [Bongi Sithole-Moloi] that we are faced with the tragic passing of our chairman.’
Tributes have been pouring in following the sudden loss of Mkhize:
❤|We would like to extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of @UthongathiFC Chairman Mr Nicholas Mkhize, following his untimely and tragic passing. #RIP pic.twitter.com/IbpDGVAyVh
— Ajax Cape Town (@ajaxcapetown) September 11, 2018
We’ve woken up to incredibly sad news – the passing of Nicholas Mkhize – chairman of @UthongathiFC
We extend our heartfelt condolences to all football friends, family and colleagues involved with the club and the Mkhize family.
May you find comfort knowing we stand with you.
— Ubuntu Cape Town FC (@ubuntucapetown) September 11, 2018
On behalf of the chairman and the club, we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to @UthongathiFC following the tragic passing of their chairman Mr. Nicholas Mkhize last night. Our thoughts are with his family and and all at the club.
— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) September 11, 2018
— Cape Umoya FC (@capeumoyafc) September 11, 2018
Our heartfelt condolences go out to family, friends and @UthongathiFC South African football will surely miss the presence of a truly valuable person with the loss of Chairman Mkhize.
— Golden Arrows FC (@goldenarrowsfc1) September 11, 2018
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
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