Witbank Spurs’ acting General Manager, Freddy Mapulane, confirmed to Soccer Laduma that Sibusiso Isaac Papa has passed on. Papa was one of the senior players at the NFD side.
The midfielder was on his way to training in preparation of the team’s next game when the car he was driving got involved in a fatal accident in Mpumalanga on Sunday.
“We weren’t playing this past weekend so yesterday we had an afternoon training session in preparation of our game against Black Leopards on Wednesday. He was travelling from Goedehoop to Witbank. He was coming to training.
"We received a call telling us that something like this happened. The person who notified us identified his car and immediately sent the message. Fortunately, the boy’s father wasn’t far away from where the accident happened. It’s about 100 km. Apparently an oncoming truck lost control resulting in a head-on collision. They were two in the car but the other guy survived. But the other guy wasn’t our player. He was his friend.
"Papa was our senior player in the team. He was also busy with trials at (Moroka) Swallows at the time of his death. He had just returned for our game on Wednesday and was going to return to Swallows on Thursday. The boy is originally from the Eastern Cape. His family is based this side because of work. He was staying together with his father.
"We’ve just returned from the family and his funeral service will be held on February 15 in the Eastern Cape. I would like to tell our supporters that we lost one of ours. I still can’t believe that the boy is no more. As we are planning a training session for later today, I still don’t know how we will start without the boy.
"But I like the spirit showed by our players yesterday. We were preparing to ask the league for postponement of our game against Leopards on Wednesday. But the players refused. They want to honour the boy. They want to go out there and fight for him and do what he was doing best,” said Mapulane.
Soccer Laduma would like to send its heartfelt condolences to Papa’s family, friends, teammates and Witbank Spurs during this difficult time.