13 May 2019 – The South African Football Association mourns the tragic death of young promising referee Lebogang Mmihi from Bloemfontein in the Free State Province.
The 21-year-old was killed last Sunday, 11 May. He was reportedly attacked by two unknown assailants.
The shocking incident happened just a few metres away from his home in Batho Location, Bloemfontein.
The motive for Lebogang’s brutal murder is unknown as the attackers did not take anything from him after fatally stabbing him.
Bloemfontein police have opened a case of murder and are investigating the matter.
Lebogang was buried this past Saturday (11 May 2019) in his hometown of Bloemfontein.
Lebogang quit playing soccer actively in 2012 to join the league of referees having played for Mangaung United development team.
His ability to understand and learn the laws of the game saw him become one of the brightest referees in the Free State, officiating across three divisions – ABC Motsepe League, SAB League and lower division of SAFA Promotion League in Bloemfontein in the Mangaung Region.
He officiated in finals of a series of development tournaments, provincial and national.
SAFA’s general secretary of the Bloemfontein Local Football Association Lehlohonolo Maduna expressed shock at the untimely death of the upcoming referee.
“Lebo as we called him, became referee by default. There was no referee to officiate a match in which his team Mangaung was featured. Lebo took the whistle to officiate against his own team and he did exceptionally well.
“We decided right to recruit him, and he was further recommended for mentorship with others under knowledgeable Enoch “The Great” Molefe. Lebo never looked back and he proved throughout he had what it takes to be a great referee,” said Maduna.
Maduna said Lebo would be sadly missed and remembered for his respect and disciplined as well as friendliness. “He was friendly to everyone and he would ask questions if he did not understand,” said Maduna.