CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — John Moeti, the former South Africa midfielder who was part of the squad that won the 1996 African Cup of Nations, died at his home on Monday. He was 55.
The South African Football Association announced Moeti’s death but didn’t give a cause.
In a SAFA statement, family spokesman Victor Rakhale said Moeti had fallen ill eight months ago and was receiving specialist medical care.
Moeti played 29 times for South Africa between 1995 and 1999 and was part of South Africa’s biggest soccer moment when the team won the African Cup on home soil just two years after the end of apartheid.
He was also captain of Orlando Pirates, one of the country’s biggest clubs, and a key player when it became the first South African club to win the African Champions League in 1995.
Pirates paid tribute to Moeti, saying he “defied the odds” to become a top midfielder despite being just 5-foot-7 tall.
“Despite his small stature, John was a powerhouse on the field, exhibiting unmatched energy and tenacity,” Pirates said. “He was known for his ability to dominate the midfield, breaking up opposition attacks and launching his own with ease.
“John was a competitor, never backing down from a challenge and always giving his all for the team.”
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