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South African Football Boss Shot Dead

The owner of a top South African football club, Uthongathi FC, has been shot dead.

The owner of a top South African football club, Uthongathi FC, has been shot dead by a suspected sniper outside club offices in Durban.

Police said the businessman Nicholas Mkhize was hit by a bullet in the chest while he was speaking on phone.

The killing came moments after a club meeting with the club’s technical team on Monday evening which deliberated on the team’s next National First Division fixture against Real Kings.

Uthongathi’s director, Nkosinathi Chili, was quoted by Radio 2000 confirming the attack, which is said to be linked to a turf war between taxi owners in the area.

“It [the meeting] was about their analysis and preparedness for the KZN derby against Real Kings. Afterward, we all left the meeting. Everyone was rushing to his own place because we normally finish at 8:15 pm.”

“Mkize moved to his car while he was on phone; and when he entered his car, there were gunshots,” said Chili.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, with reports confirming he suffered three gunshot wounds.

The former KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, representing the ruling African National Congress, will likely be buried this weekend and Chili is asking Premier Soccer League officials to postpone the club fixture in KwaMwashu.

“In this situation, we’ll be guided by the family on whether he’ll be 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.”

“Our players, since they know that I’m the communications manager of the team, were bold enough to phone me and I told them to remain at the club house. We’ll speak to them today 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.”

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