By Jonk wa Mashamba
Recent photo of MAPS Games founder, Maimane Alfred Phiri in the hospital shows how the football star feels.
Reports indicate that Phiri was able to converse with family members. He was shot two times at the tavern he owns at Alexandra on Thursday night.
Phiri was wounded in the arm and leg, whereas another victim was killed before the shooter turned the gun on himself.
Phiri’s sister, Eleanor, confirmed to SowetanLive that he was on the road to healing and that the doctors were pleased with his progress.
Phiri had phoned his daughter who had had a video chat with him, according to his sister.
Eleanor told SowetanLive that the nurses were very pleased with his reaction to the treatment.
“He is in a lot of pain and the wounds have been bleeding a bit, but he is OK and responding to the medication.
“He is still sleeping quite a bit at the moment because of the medication he is on, but he can walk and has even been starting physio.
“All in all, things are going as well as can be expected and he will make a full recovery, which is obviously a big relief to the family. We are very thankful for the medical care he is receiving.”
Police have opened a case of murder, attempted murder and an inquest docket into the incident, which appears to be an act of domestic violence between the unnamed gunman and his partner, with Phiri injured as he tried to intervene.
Phiri played 13 times for SA, debuting just before the 1998 World Cup in France and earning a place in the squad for the tournament in what was seen as a surprise choice.
It proved an unhappy occasion as he was sent off against Denmark in Bafana’s second game, though the decision seemed somewhat harsh and he can consider himself unlucky.
Phiri had played just a handful of games for Jomo Cosmos before moving to Vanspor in Turkey, and then later helped Genclerbirligi to win the 2001 Turkish Cup final against giants Fenerbahce.
He moved to Samsunspor in October 2001, then came back to play in SA with Cosmos one year later, and then to Ajax Cape Town and Moroka Swallows.
His career in Bafana went on for eight years, having been recalled just before his 32nd birthday by caretaker national team coach Pitso Mosimane in 2006.
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