Tributes pour in for Magolego


‘Hluphi, who was 42 years old, won two caps for Bafana Bafana and many trophies with the Brazilians, where he also wore the captain’s armband.

Ex-Sundowns midfielder Ernest Mtawali tells from Malawi that he is still shocked and saddened about the passing of his former teammate.

“I can’t believe this; we are all dying now,” Mtawali says. “Joas was a believer in everything he did. I remember he joined with Themba Mnguni and pushed the likes of Lucky Molefe for a place in the starting line-up.

“It’s a big loss to the future of South African football because I understand he was working with the youngsters.”

Costa Bellos, a football administrator and close friend, spent the last few hours with Hluphi before his passing.

“I met Hluphi in late 1997 … I used to frequent Sundowns training sessions as I was a big fan. The first person I became very close with and still am is Eric Ramasike.

“I started knowing Hluphi better; after matches when I would frequented Mams with most of the Sundowns players. Hlupi loved Mams and Mams loved Hluphi.

“He had time for everybody; he was humble and would talk to you whoever you were and wherever you came from.”

Bellos recalls the last day spent with Magolego at the hospital. 

“On Friday morning Eric Ramasike came and picked me up and we went to the hospital to see Hluphi. We spent about 30 minutes with him; it was very emotional as he could not respond to our presence. Later that evening I received the bad news.”