Veteran football administrator Ndumiso Gumede dies from kidney ailment

BULAWAYO – Highlanders president and veteran football administrator Ndumiso Emmanuel Gumede has died.

He was 75.

Gumede died at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo on Wednesday hours after being admitted with a kidney ailment, sources told ZimLive.

“He was rushed to hospital last night with a suspected kidney infection but he didn’t agree with the medical staff that it was serious enough to be admitted. His condition got worse overnight and he was rushed back this morning but unfortunately he couldn’t make it,” a family friend said.

Gumede was living at a retirement home in the city.

Only on December 22, Gumede was fit enough to attend a ceremony in his honour at the Highlanders Club House.

Gumede was a sports master while working as a teacher at Highfield Secondary School in 1969 before he became Highlanders’ representative in Harare in 1974.

He moved to Mzilikazi High School in Bulawayo in 1975 and joined the club’s fundraising committee.

He was voted Highlanders executive chairman in 1978. In 1979, he was pivotal in returning the club to the then Super League following their breakaway in 1975 to form the South Zone.

He served in various other roles including as ZIFA secretary general, ZIFA vice chairman, ZIFA CEO and a member of the CAF Appeals Committee.

Outgoing Highlanders CEO Nhlanhla Dube told ZimLive: “I’m absolutely shattered. Gumede taught me everything there is to know about football administration. I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with him and traveling with him when we both worked and lived in Harare. He became both father and friend to the very end.

“His contribution to club, national and regional football can only be described as iconic. The many friends he has in football across many spectra bears testimony to his larger-than-life character and indelible effect on whomever he came into close touch with.

“This giant will never be a forgotten, a true hero of our game, no matter how hero is defined.”

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