AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
REAL Madrid star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City striker Kevin de Bruyne have paid warm tributes to their former teammate, South African international Anele Ngcongca who died in a car accident.
Courtois and De Bruyne played together at Belgian first division side Genk.
Courtois said: “Sad to hear former Genkie Anele is no longer with us. Being one of the most enthusiastic players I have ever met, I’ll always remember your smile and will carry your positive mindset with me. We’ll miss you deeply, my friend. My thoughts go out to your family.”
De Bruyne, the Manchester striker who also plays for the Belgian national side said: “RIP, MY FRIEND”.
Their former club, Genk also offered their condolences. “We hear the tragic news from Genkie Anele Ngcongca. He died in a car accident. In total Anele played no fewer than 279 games for KRC Genk. Our thoughts are with family and friends of our South African ex-player,” the club said in a statement.
Friends, former teamates in South Africa and football fans have also paid warm tributes to Ngcongca (33), who was on loan to Durban-based Amazulu Football Club.
In a statement, Sundowns, with whom he won several trophies said: “The President, Dr Patrice Motsepe, the Board of Directors, Technical Team, Players, Management, Staff, Supporters of Mamelodi Sundowns FC & the entire Masandawana Family express their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anele Ngcongca who passed away today.”
Ngcongca had over 50 caps with the South African national football team, Bafana Bafana. He won the South African premier league title three times and the Confederation of African Football Super Cupu with Sundowns. He also won the Belgium Premier League trophy with Genk 3 times a Premiership Winner in SA.
The Premier Soccer League has extended its condolences. “PSL conveys heartfelt condolences to the Ngcongca family following the untimely death of defender Anele Ngcongca. The League is shocked and saddened by this news.
Ngcongca was part of the @Masandawana team that won a treble in the 2019/20 season.”
Politician and former minister of sports Fikile Mbalula said: “The passing away of this young talented man, Anele Ngcongca comes as a great shock. I’ve watched him play for our national team and saw dedication and love for country. For us who knew him know he wasn’t only a great footballer but a respectful & loving young man. May he RIP.”
SA Premier League side Orlando Pirates said: “On behalf of the extended @orlandopirates family, we convey our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Ngcongca family.”