FOOTBALL legend Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo, who died on Saturday night, will be laid to rest at Lady Stanley Cemetery tomorrow following the Bulawayo City Council’s approval.
BY THANDIWE MOYO
Former Highlanders chairman and family spokesperson Ernest Maphepha Sibanda confirmed that his burial at Lady Stanley had been approved.
“We would like to thank the City Fathers who have approved his burial at Lady Stanley Cemetery. It has been confirmed,” Sibanda said.
Lady Stanley Cemetery is reserved for those who have had an outstanding contribution to the community as a whole in one or more fields which include sport, education, social activities, religion, business, leadership, charity, journalism, civic matters and trade unionism and any other contribution deemed fit.
Sibanda said today Khumalo’s body will lie in state at his home before the burial tomorrow.
“Tomorrow (today), his body will be taken from Nyaradzo (Funeral Parlour) to lie in state at his house S22 Mzilikazi. All those who want to bid him farewell can come to Mzilikazi. A church service will be held tomorrow as well,” he said.
He said another church service will be held at MacDonald Hall in Mzilikazi tomorrow before they proceed to Barbourfields Stadium and then his final resting place at Lady Stanley.
Sibanda said they were expecting more than 1 000 people to attend the burial and appealed for alms from well-wishers.
“We would like to appeal to anyone who has donations to contact me on my number (0772 584 284) in the morning and we will collect,” he said.
Highlanders are also collecting donations at 50 Robert Mugabe Way.
Khumalo died on Saturday at United Bulawayo Hospital after suffering heart failure. He is survived by wife Nozipho and three children.
He played for Highlanders from the 1980s with the likes of Netsai Moyo, the late Mercedes Sibanda, Sydney Zimunya, Madinda Ndlovu, Rahman Gumbo and Abraham Mbambo.
Meanwhile, the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League has sent a message of condolence to the Mashinkila-Khumalo family describing Khumalo as a valuable, lovable and charismatic football player coach and friend.
“The Premier Soccer League board of governors, clubs, players and staff have learnt with sadness the passing away of a football legend, Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo,” part of the statement by PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele read.