JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African police issued identikit pictures on Tuesday of two men suspected of killing the national soccer captain, a death that led to more calls for tighter gun laws a week after track star Oscar Pistorius was jailed for shooting his girlfriend.
Senzo Meyiwa was hit by a single round in the chest on Sunday night while confronting two intruders at the home of his girlfriend, actress and singer Kelly Khumalo.
The identikit pictures show two black men, one wearing a goatee and clad in a hoodie or hooded sweater. The other man is round-faced with dreadlocks.
Meyiwa will be buried on Saturday in his hometown of Umlazi, a township on the edge of the Indian ocean port city of Durban. His death has highlighted the phenomenon of gun violence in South Africa, days after Pistorius was jailed for five years for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.
Even though South Africa’s murder rate has been gradually dropping, it remains one of the world’s most violent countries. Police recorded more than 17,000 murders last year, or 31 per 100,000 people - seven times the rate in the United States.
Danny Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association and the lead organizer of the 2010 soccer World Cup, expressed his anger at what he described as “yet another South African sacrificed at the barrel of a gun.”
“Perhaps a ‘Senzo Meyiwa Gun Law’ should deal with this question and imprison those who carry illegal guns for the purpose of destroying the youth of this country,” he told a news conference.
Meyiwa was the South African team’s captain and goalkeeper. He led the team in their last four matches in the African Nations Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal and played on Saturday when his club Orlando Pirates advanced to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.
Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng and Ed Cropley; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Larry King