3 November 2017 – With less than a day to go before the South African U20 women’s national team takes on Burundi in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium, the final day of preparations took an emotional twist when Ambassador of South Africa from Burundi, His Excellency, Oupa Moerane met up with James Mofokeng who is the team’s security officer after 24 years.

The two played a huge role in the liberation of the country, having been in exile together for more than a decade. Moerane and Mofokeng were in exile in Angola and last saw each other in 1993 back in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg.

The two former freedom fighters used to play football together as a form of recreation while in exile and reminisced on how football played a significant role in keeping them united and giving them some sort of recreation to forget a bit about the hardships that were happening in South Africa at the time.

“All kinds of emotions and memories went through my mind when I saw my fellow freedom fighter. Life was really tough back then and we had to remain united and dedicated to liberating our people back home. We played a lot of football while in exile which really helped in taking our minds of the sad situation back home” said Mofokeng.

“I dedicated my whole life to the freedom of South Africa and through football, I have now reunited with my long lost friend”

The Ambassador will be hosting the team at his official residence on Saturday evening post their match.