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Former Pirates midfielder dies in car crash

The football fraternity is mourning the passing away of former Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates star Bheka Phakathi following a fatal car accident.

Phakathi lost his life in the accident on Sunday morning on his way to training with ABC Motsepe League side, Umvoti, which he led to the play-offs for a spot in the National First Division (NFD).

He came to prominence while playing for Arrows before attracting the attention of Pirates, but later returned to the KZN side and also played for Maritzburg United before hanging up his boots in 2010.

Phakathi also worked at Arrows as the assistant coach to Shaun Bartlett when the club won promotion back to the Premiership during the 2014/15 season.

Pirates and Arrows have since confirmed the passing away of their former player.

Pirates said on its website: “Orlando Pirates Football Club is saddened to learn of the passing away of former player Bheka Phakathi.

“Phakathi, who played for the Mighty Buccaneers between 2002 and 2005, was coaching ABC Motsepe outfit Umvoti at the time of his passing. A team he had led to the Playoffs after an amazing season in the KZN stream.

“On behalf of the entire Pirates family, we would like to convey our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Phakathi family and supplicate that God provides comfort in this time of pain.”