Malawi national football team (the Flames) striker Esau Kanyenda on Sunday survived a road accident in South Africa that claimed lives of four of his Polokwane United team-mates.
Kanyenda, who is the team captain, escaped with minor injuries. The accident occurred at Mankweng in Limpopo Province.
In a telephone interview on Monday, Kanyenda said he was still in a state of shock at what happened.
â€œI am still devastated, I am still trying to come to terms with what happened, but I thank God that I am still alive. I sustained minor bruises and was treated as an outpatient, but I still have some light pains here and there,â€ he said.
He said the accident happened when the driver of their team bus lost control when trying to avoid a pickup.
â€œOur minibus overturned, killing four players instantly. One of the players is in critical condition at the Mankweng Hospital,â€ he said.
According to South Africa press reports, paramedics from Polokwane used jaws of life to assist players and officials who were trapped in the minibus.
The players were returning home after a league match against FC AK.
Sad story for SA football
South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson Dr. Irvin Khoza said he was devastated by the news and called it a sad day for South African football.
â€œIt is a tragic loss for the South African football family. We extend our condolences to the playersâ€™ families and management of the club. We also wish the injured players and officials a speedy recovery,â€ said Khoza.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said they were saddened by the development.
â€œI personally spoke to Esau this morning and he assured me that his condition is stable,â€ said NyirendaÂ
Kanyenda is yet to be registered by the club as he is still waiting for his work permit to be processed.