Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung says he is “grateful” that Wiseman Meyiwa’s life has been spared after announcing that the midfielder has had to retire from football at the age of 19 due to injuries from a car accident.
Meyiwa was involved in an accident on November 3 last year near Villiers in the Free State on his way home to Pietermaritzburg.
There has been a delay in updates on his health, which Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung and doctor Hashendra Ramjee explained on Thursday was in respect with Meyiwa’s wishes.
The former SA Under-20 and Under-17 international has been left a paraplegic due to a spinal injury.
Chiefs held a press conference on Thursday, and Motaung stated that Meyiwa and his family will be given the necessary support to deal with the situation.
Ramjee said Meyiwa sustained various injuries, including “an unstable fracture of his thoracic vertebrae with spinal cord injury”.
“The thoracic vertebrae fracture was surgically repaired, and he was transferred to Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital for further management. Wiseman has a permanent disability with a T6 paraplegia,” Ramjee said in a statement on the Chiefs website.
“His treatment is currently being optimised to allow him to manage his disability.”
Bobby Motaung added: “The club will endeavour to give Wiseman and his family all the support he needs, including trauma counselling – emotional and psychological.
“We will also assist with educational support to ensure he is self-sufficient in the future. We will also put proper support systems in place to make sure his home-based care is as comfortable as possible.
“We are also working closely with his teammates to ensure that they are able to deal with the shock.”
Kaizer Motaung said: “We are very disheartened that Wiseman’s promising career had to come to an end so abruptly when he still had so much to offer.
“This is the first time that we’ve ever had to deal with this situation in as far as players go, but we are doing our best to ensure that we give Wiseman all the support and care he needs.
— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) January 31, 2019
“We are shattered because he is very young, everyone had high hopes of him and his family expected a lot from his football career. Yet, in the same breath, we are grateful that his life has been spared.”
Meyiwa earned 21 caps for the Chiefs senior team, having come through the club’s development academy from the age of 14, having hailed from KZN.
He was part of the SA Under-17 and Under-20 sides at their respective World Cups in 2015 and 2017.