South Africa launched a manhunt Monday to catch the killers of South Africa`s national football captain Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot dead during a robbery at his girlfriend`s home.
Police said the 27-year-old goalkeeper was killed late Sunday after burglars broke into the house of his pop-star girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, making off with a cell phone.
South Africa`s president led a shocked nation in voicing outrage at the attack.
More than 17,000 people were killed in South Africa last year, but the slaying of a popular sporting hero has stunned even this crime-weary nation.
“Words cannot express the nation`s shock at this loss,” said President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma said police must “leave no stone unturned in finding his killers” and bringing them to justice.
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said a manhunt was now under way.
“We believe that someone, somewhere, somehow knows something about this crime,” she said, appealing to the public to come forward.
Police have offered an increased reward of 250,000 rand ($23,000) for any information leading to his killer`s arrest.
Fighting back a flood of tears, national football coach Shakes Mashaba described Meyiwa as a “very kind person” who was the first name on his teamsheet.
Team-mates at his local club Orlando Pirates were sobbing and crying uncontrollably during a Monday team meeting, according to club officials.
Tributes to Meyiwa flooded in from across the football world.
Spain`s World Cup winning goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas posted on his Instagram account a picture of Meyiwa after the pair had swapped jerseys, saying “Very sad for the dramatic loss of friend RIP Senzo.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter described Meyiwa`s killing as a “senseless, tragic loss”.
Meyiwa`s South African team-mate, Doncaster Rovers-based Dean Furman, said he was “beyond devastated at the loss of our captain and friend”.
It is just latest tragedy to befall South Africa`s sporting fraternity.