Lepasa hopeful TS Galaxy will look after late teammate Mbamba's family
TS Galaxy man of the moment Zakhele Lepasa has paid tribute to his late former teammate Thembinkosi Mbamba and said he hopes the Mpumalanga side will help look after the family of the slain midfielder for a time being.
Members of the Mbamba family were ecstatic on the evening of May 18 when the 23-year-old star played a role as The Rockets upset Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 to win the Nedbank Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
In so doing Galaxy became the first National First Division (NFD) club to lift the Nedbank Cup in the tournament’s history.
But their ecstasy turned into agony a week later when TS Galaxy announced the news of his passing away following a car accident at the weekend.
Speaking from Durban where he is in camp with the Bafana Bafana Cosafa Cup squad‚ Lepasa described Mbamba as a player “who was very happy‚ loved football and was always energetic.”
Lepasa is in line to make his national team debut on Sunday when Bafana take on Botswana at the quarterfinal stage at Princess Magogo Stadium.
That means he will not be able to attend the funeral of his former teammate but Lepasa had a message to Mbamba’s family.
“I think the message I will send to his family is to trust God.
"Sometimes God does things that we have no understanding of and we just have no control over.
“I think they should trust God and I just pray that his family will eventually mourn in peace and they will get over it.
“I hope somehow… I don’t know if the team will do it but maybe take care of his family for a while and make sure there is another provider because I believe that he was also a breadwinner in the house‚” said Lepasa.
Mbamba will on Saturday be laid to rest in Duduza‚ a township in the small gold mining town of Nigel on the Johannesburg’s East Rand.
The memorial service would be held at the Duduza Multi-Purpose Centre at 12 noon on Thursday. The funeral will take place at the same venue on Saturday.
Mbamba featured on 12 occasions in all competitions for Galaxy and scored one goal. He joined The Rockets from now defunct African All Stars at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
The 11-month-old team from Mpumalanga‚ owned by former agent Tim Sukazi‚ was preparing for a pompous celebration to parade their Nedbank Cup trophy in the province on Sunday but had to put it on hold in respect of their fallen star.
TS Galaxy spokesperson Nombasa Zini confirmed to TimesLIVE on Wednesday that the trophy parade has been postponed to a date yet to be determined.
“This is due to the ultimately passing away of one of our own Thembinkosi “Bashin” Mbamba‚” said Zini.