Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube has said the late Highlanders president Ndumiso Gumede should be given a send-off that befits an outstanding football administrator and civic leader.
After close to five decades of involvement in football administration, Gumede passed away at Mpilo Central Hospital on Wednesday afternoon after a short illness.
“We met this morning (yesterday) and asked for some documents (biography) which we will then forward to the elders, but what we wish and call for as Bulawayo leadership is for this football icon to be given a befitting send-off and proper recognition for the great work that he did,” said Minister Ncube.
She said they will stand guided by the national leadership, but for now they were just waiting for documents they requested for.
“We applaud Gumede’s work, not only in football, but in all sectors that he got involved in. We know, of course, his footprints are in football. We mourn with the family, we mourn with Highlanders, we mourn with Zifa, we mourn with Bulawayo and we mourn with the entire football family within and outside our borders,” said Minister Ncube.
Her call for a befitting send-off for Gumede follows President Mnangagwa’s description of the former Bosso chairman and president as a sports administrator of distinction who will be remembered for transforming the popular game of football through his competent leadership and professional administration of the iconic Highlanders club.
President Mnangagwa said Gumede led Highlanders to greater heights, transforming it into the household name it is today, while his strong African roots turned professional sporting into a cultural carnival for which football fans will miss him.
Meanwhile, funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised with family members still consulting, as they await the arrival of Gumede’s children and relatives based abroad.
However, according to his younger sister Cephekhulu Fuyane, Gumede’s wish was to be buried at his rural home in Inyathi next to his late parents.
“We don’t have a position yet regarding a burial date. Meetings are still ongoing and we are still going to meet this evening (yesterday) to deliberate on pending matters. Please give us time, we shall make a proper statement once everything is in place, but what I know is that yena umnikazi (Gumede) wanted to be buried in Inyathi,” said Fuyane.
She welcomed Minister Ncube’s call that her brother be recognised and given a befitting send-off.
“We are free as a family on whatever position the Government will take. In fact, we would actually appreciate it and be forever grateful if he is given the due recognition because to us, he is a true hero,” she said.
Article Source: The Chronicle