‘Goldfingers’ remembered as a unifier
MASHUDU SADIKE firstname.lastname@example.org Pretoria News
African News Agency
THE late Mamelodi Sundowns public relations official Alex “Goldfingers” Shakoane will be laid to rest in Pretoria on Tuesday. At his memorial service in Mamelodi yesterday, attended by South Africa’s football top brass, including club president Tlhopie Motsepe, Shakoane was described as a “unifier” and “charismatic” by family, friends, officials and fans. Shakoane died at a Pretoria hospital on Sunday afternoon after suffering a stroke. According to the family, they were not shocked at the news because he had been in hospital for months (since December). Speaking to the on the sidelines of the memorial service, family spokesperson Dr Lebo Shakoane said even though it hurt to lose her uncle, her father’s younger brother, he was in a better place. “It’s painful, devastating and a huge loss to us, because he was one of the last adults standing in the family. It was a big blow, but in honesty we were not shocked because he had been unwell.” She said the stroke caused bleeding that resulted in him having to be operated on several times. “On Sunday, he had just come back from physiotherapy as normal and they put him back on his bed. “He gasped and passed on … just the gasping and then he was gone,” she said. She said the family received the news while at home and accepted it. She confirmed that Shakoane would be buried on Tuesday and not at the weekend because his club had a continental fixture in Morocco on Saturday. “We have to wait for the players to come back so they can also have the opportunity to bury my uncle. My uncle loved Sundowns. His children were second to Sundowns. Sundowns was his first child. We are deeply saddened by this loss.” His long-time friend and counterpart, former Kaizer Chiefs public relations officer Louis “The Sprinter” Tshakoane, said he was going to miss his charisma. “Alex is my cousin, he comes from the same kraal where I come from, where our forefathers come from. We come from the same royal family. And he performed extremely well with Sundowns. He performed extremely well with the football family. “He united people in football. We have recruited international stars. I’m happy that Alex left Sundowns as the top team it is in the country. He left football united, rooted like an iron rod in a frozen ground. “I’m going to miss his aggression, his passion, his style of operation, dressing and his style of communication,” he said. Retired Sundowns player Teko Modise said the news of Shakoane’s death was devastating because he had not been waiting for it. “This news is devastating news. He was the heart and soul of the club. He is the only person I know who has yellow blood. We were not waiting for this. I was hoping he was young enough for him to see the club lift the African Champions League for the second time,” he said. The memorial service was more of a celebration of his life, with fans clad in Sundowns regalia. The Supporters Club spokesperson, Jerry Mokgetle, described Shakoane as a unifier. He said: “It was so unexpected, especially him being the pillar of supporters throughout the years since the early days. He has always been there for us. When we were told on Sunday that he was no more, it was heavy to take. “We are going to miss his charisma most definitely, the way he united us as supporters. He took us from demarcations and united us. He removed the fact that you are a fan from a different part of Pretoria,” he said. Shakoane was one of the early employees of Sundowns when it was formed by Dr Bonny Sebotsane. He is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.