The captain of South Africa’s national football team was shot dead by intruders in his homeland on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, 27, was shot down while trying to protect his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo from intruders, officials said.

Meyiwa was killed in a suspected robbery at actress and singer Kelly Khumalo’s home. There was an ‘altercation’ after several men entered the singer’s house in Vosloorus near Johannesburg on Sunday, police said.

Two men entered the house, a third waited outside, and all three fled when gunfire was heard, police said. Meyiwa was taken to hospital, but declared dead on arrival.

A reward of 150,000 rand (£8,500) has been offered for information leading to an arrest. Authorities said they would do everything possible to find the killers.

Meyiwa captained South Africa in the last four matches in African Cup Of Nations qualifiers without conceding a goal. Meyiwa also played on Saturday when his club Orlando Pirates advanced to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.

 

Wayne Rooney and Senzo Meyiwa shake hands after a friendly game.

 

Meyiwa’s team Orlando Pirates tweeted: “The @Orlando-Pirates family has learned with sadness of the untimely death of our number 1 keeper & captain Senzo Meyiwa.

Club chairman Dr Irvin Khoza added: “This is a sad loss which ever way you look at it – to Senzo’s family, his extended family, Orlando Pirates and to the nation.

Orlando Pirates will give a press conference on Monday to react further to the news.Senzo played for the South African team, the Orlando Pirates and had played for the national team in the last 4 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. He had played last for the Pirates on Saturday where his team beat Ajax Cape Town 4-1 to progress to the semifinals of the South African League cup.

According to the statement, the South African Police Service said that two men had entered the Vosloorus house at around 18:00 GMT while a third man remained outside.

According to media reports, the three men fled on foot when shots were fired in what is being called an attempted robbery. One man reportedly wanted Senzo’s cellphone.

Senzo was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.