Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has admitted the untimely passing of Oshwin Andries has hit home that he’s not completely healed from the trauma they have faced in the past and will keep Stellenbosch FC in his prayers.
Andries passed on Saturday, just days before his 20th birthday after allegedly suffering a seizure a couple of days after being stabbed in Klapmuts, Stellenbosch.
The news sent shock waves around the community and South Africa at large as one of the nation’s brightest prospects and the U20 national team captain’s life was cut short.
Memories have now flown back over former Sundowns stars Anele Ngcongca and Motjeka Madisha, who passed away in the space of three months.
“That was sad news, it’s sad news because it reveals scars that have not really healed from a personal perspective,” Rulani Mokwena said on Monday morning at the PSL headquarters.
“And maybe even from a club perspective because we lost the late Anele, the late Madisha, and when I heard the news… for me I immediately thought of Stevie Barker. I said a little prayer because it was very difficult.
“You work every day with these players and people think it’s just professional… but there’s an emotional connotation that develops and you start to… because you spend more time with them than your family and you start to become family within a family context.
“So losing one of your players is devastating. You can’t tell anyone how to deal with it, it’s a loss within the family when you lose a sibling or blood-related relative. No one can tell you how to deal with a loss.”
Mokwena says during these hard times, one must lean on faith and prayer to try and comprehend and accept the situation – in a space where your mind tries to make sense of what transpired – while he reiterated his utmost condolences to those closest to Andries.
“The only thing you can [do], is trying to pray and try and ask God to strengthen those who are unfortunately bereaved and at this space where they receive the unfortunate news.
“Our sincere condolences again as a football club, to Stevie Barker, to the Stellenbosch family, to the family in its entirety. One day this will make sense but for now, we just have to trust in God’s timing and the wisdom he possesses beyond human understanding.
“So it was very sad news, that revealed the fact there’s not been a lot of healing done from a trauma perspective personally and I wish coach Steve and his technical team strength during this healing time for sure.”