Meyiwa died from gunshot wounds to the chest in the East Rand suburb of Vosloorus, near Johannesburg.
Unconfirmed media reports suggest that Meyiwa was attacked at the house of his popular Afro Pop singer girlfriend and shot while trying to protect her from thugs who demanded cellphones, wallets and other valuables on Sunday evening.
“We can confirm that Bucs (Pirates) goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa has been shot and sadly declared dead on arrival at hospital,” the South African Police Services (SAPS) said on its Twitter feed. Police later said there were seven people inside the house, including Meyiwa, when two suspects entered and another remained outside.
“There was an altercation and Senzo Meyiwa was shot. The three suspects fled on foot after the shooting. We can assure South Africans that we will do all we can to bring Meyiwa’s killers to book. A reward of up to R150 000 is being offered for any information that can lead to arrests,” said Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale.
Meyiwa played for his club in Soweto on Saturday and had been in outstanding form for the national team during the recent 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The death of the national team captain is the second tragedy to hit South African sport within three days after former world 800m athletics champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi died on Friday in a car crash.