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MBABANE – Mbabane Highlanders Under-20 late midfielder, Thembeka ‘Navigator’ Sibandze was a talented footballer.

About 100 people gathered at the Mater Dorolosa High Hall for the memorial of the departed much loved rising star, ‘Navigator’, as he was affectionately known in the football circles,

It was friends, family, relatives and noteworthy a majority of the attendants were from the football community. Among them were Premier League of Eswatini Chairman Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula, former Sihlangu coach, Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga, Royal Leopard Ladies official Xolile Dlamini, Mbabane Highlanders assistant secretary Maxwell Masuku and junior Manager, Simiso Jele.

One of the speakers, PLE chairman, Magagula said they were saddened by the passing of Sibandze, who had a bright future in soccer.
“He was Sihlangu material, just when we thought he was matured enough to play in the elite league, the Lord decided to take him away from us. It is very disturbing and saddening. We want to send our heartfelt condolences to the Sibandze and Mbabane Highlanders families. We have lost a future star,” Magagula said.

Meanwhile, Mbabane Highlanders assistant secretary, Maxwell Masuku stated that Sibandze was a player who had a potential to make it big in football. “He was married to the sport and I foresaw a bright future in the ‘Navigator.

He was a key player at Highlanders and he was national team material. He was a very kind young man who would not only contribute with his football skills but motivated the other players. It is a sad loss to not only to the Sibandze family but the football fraternity at large,” Masuku said. Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of Mbabane Highlanders Under-20 players, Mlandvo Dlamini described ‘Navigator’ as a team player in all aspects.

“He was good young man. We used to enjoy his company when he was around and he was one of the key players in the team. He was like a brother to us as players. We have lost a brother, friend and good man in ‘Navigator’,” Dlamini said.

Sibandze, who met his death after a reported kidney failure last Saturday, will be laid to rest this morning at Sivivaneni in Nhlangano after a vigil. The 17-year-old Kobe Ramokgadi Advanced Learning Academy grade 10 pupil is survived by his father, four brothers and two sisters.

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