Ex- swallows star in attempted suicide
FAMILY and friends of former Moroka Swallows midfielder Joseph Rapelego are still surprised after he allegedly tried to end his life with a gun yesterday.
Late last night, doctors at the intensive care unit of the Krugersdorp Private Hospital were still trying to keep the former Birds maestro alive.
Manelo, as he was affectionately known, allegedly sent his 19-year-old daughter Tebogo to buy airtime at the shops. When the girl returned, Rapelego, 43, had apparently shot himself.
When Sowetan visited the family yesterday, Tebogo was not home - she had been taken for counselling.
At the time of the alleged shooting, Rapelego's wife Nomathemba had already left for work, ironically at the same hospital where her husband was taken.
Rapelego's sister-in-law Zanele Nkomo arrived at his home in Kagiso, on the West Rand, just 30 minutes after the alleged shooting.
"I received a call from my sister saying Joseph had collapsed, so I rushed to their home," said Nkomo.
"When I arrived, my brother-in-law had already been taken to hospital but police had not cleared the scene," she said.
"I saw pain killers, a bottle of spirit and a gun lying there. There was also blood on the wall.
"We suspect that he was trying to kill himself. But we don't understand why because he is a nice person and there are no problems in the family.
"He was at my place yesterday and we were all happy and laughing, so we are still perplexed as to what could have led him to do such a thing."
Rapelego works for the Department of Correctional Services in Krugersdorp as a prison warder.
His friend Ngane Pico was as surprised as everyone.
"I spoke to Joseph last (Sunday) night. He was supposed to come back to me today as he requested me to borrow him my car.
"Rapelego is an introvert and a nice guy. He does not drink or smoke, so we don't know what could have led to this," said Pico.