Orlando Pirates Football Club have sadly confirmed the passing of their former captain Papi Khomane.
According to FarPost, the former Bafana Bafana defender died in a vehicle accident which also claimed the life of his mother, Rita Khomane on Saturday morning.
The Soweto-born star, Khomane joined Pirates in 2008 from Jomo Cosmos and went on to spend nine years at the club, including as captain.
“Orlando Pirates Football Club is saddened to learn of the passing away of former captain Papi Khomane,” the club announced in a statement on Saturday night.
“The club was informed by his father and another Bucs legend, Yster Khomane who confirmed that both his son and his wife Mrs Rita Khomane were involved in a motor vehicle accident today [Saturday].”
In a tribute, Pirates said that Khomane may have been a man of few words, but his commanding presence on the pitch spoke volumes.
The DStv Premiership giants added that Papi’s remarkable transformation from a reserved individual into a formidable leader during matches was nothing short of inspirational.
“During his nine years with us, Papi made over 150 appearances, each time exemplifying what it means to be a Buccaneer. His leadership, both in demeanour and play, was a guiding force for the team,” continued Pirates in a statement.
“His journey with the club was not just about his contributions on the field; it was about continuing a legacy. Papi and his father Yster, who played for the Buccaneers in the late 70s, were one of the rare father-son duos in the club’s history.
“This familial legacy is a testament to the deep connection the Khomane family has with the club. However, we cannot speak of Papi and Yster Khomane without honouring the remarkable woman behind their successes, Mrs. Rita Khomane.
‘Rita was the cornerstone of support for both her husband and son. Her unwavering presence at our home matches was a testament to her dedication and love for the game and our club,” said the club.
“On behalf of Orlando Pirates, we convey our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Khomane family and pledge our profound moral support.”