January 24, 2021

‘It won’t be the same without him’ – Orlando Pirates’ Merafe saddened by super-fan Mgijimi’s death

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David Sindane opened up about his older brother’s cause of death as South African football mourns the passing away of the passionate supporter

Orlando Pirates media officer Thandi Merafe says the death of the club’s famous fan Mandla Sindane has affected all PSL teams.

Nicknamed Mgijimi, Sindane was found dead at his home in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga on Tuesday morning.

Merafe got an opportunity to work with Mgijimi from time to time during Pirates events and she described him as a man who had a great personality.

“We are all saddened by the news of Mgijimi’s passing,” Merafe told The Citizen.

“He was a lovely soul with a great personality and always smiling. It’s very difficult to learn of his passing. He was always following the team wherever we play.

“When we go to Durban, Mgijimi will be there waiting for the team at the airport. When we go to play Chippa [United], he will be there at the airport in Eastern Cape – Cape Town, you will find him there among the supporters.”

Sindane followed the Buccaneers around South Africa and on the continent as he travelled to Zimbabwe to watch the team’s Caf Champions League group match against FC Platinum which ended 0-0 in January 2019.

“It’s sad that his passing has united us in football because we have been getting a lot of messages, not only from the club’s fans, but every South African football fan and even across the continent,” she added.

“He was loved by many people. It won’t be the same without him because even when we scored a goal, the first person broadcasters will be looking out for would be him with his white overall and white powder on his face.”

Meanwhile, Mgijimi’s younger brother, David Sindane, has confirmed that the Bucs die-hard fan’s death was from natural causes.

“You know it’s normal for a person to have pains once in a while. And that is why we never really thought today we would lose [him] because of natural death,” David told the same publication.

“We are faced with a very serious pandemic at the moment and once someone dies, everyone assumes it’s the virus. I would like to confirm that his death was not due to the virus, but it was a natural death.”

Mgijimi is best remembered for his unique white-painted face and white powder which he puffed in the stadium during Pirates matches.

“We have to be honest as a family, his passing has shown us that our brother was loved by so many people and had a very huge impact in their lives,” he added.

“We never thought we would get calls from newspapers, TV stations and radios to interview us. We are really glad that he touched so many lives. That is why we are going to celebrate his life.”