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Pirates pay tribute to former club captain Papi Khomane

Neville Khoza Journalist
Orlando Pirates former captain Papi Khomane.
Orlando Pirates former captain Papi Khomane.
Image: Image: Duif du Toit \ Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates have paid tribute to their former player Papi Khomane, who died in a car accident on Saturday.

Khomane was on the books of the club between 1998 and 2007, where he also represented Bafana Bafana.

"Orlando Pirates is saddened to learn of the passing away of former captain Papi Khomane," a statement from Pirates read. 

"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].

"Papi was a man of few words, but his presence on the pitch spoke volumes. His transformation from a quiet individual into a formidable leader during games 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.

"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.

"On behalf of Orlando Pirates, we convey our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Khomane family and pledge our profound moral support."

During his stay at Pirates, he won the league title twice and the now defunct BP Top eight. He was also part of Bafana that won the bronze medal in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000.

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