Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu during the DStv Premiership match between AmaZulu and SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on August 9 2023.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
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“One of the best forwards I've ever worked with,” is how Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker described AmaZulu FC striker Bonginkosi Ntuli as the football fraternity reels in shock after the death of the player.

The newlywed lost a short battle to cancer on Sunday after a recent diagnosis. He was 32. 

Ntuli died at the Midlands Medical Centre Private Hospital in Pietermaritzburg after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer recently, his club said

Ntuli played his last football game on home turf at Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 17 against Cape Town City, which Usuthu won 3-2. He was at the centre of two goals his team scored in the last minutes of the league game.

Barker, Ntuli’s former coach at AmaZulu, said the No 7 jersey footballer was a special person and player.

“Really sad news. Bongi joined us at AmaZulu in January 2015 and turned our season around that year. One of the best forwards I've worked with. Such an amazing person on and off the field. My sincere condolences to Bongi’s family, the Zungu family and the entire AmaZulu FC family,” Barker said.

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Al Wahda coach Pitso Mosimane, who also worked with Ntuli during his time at Mamelodi Sundowns, said he found it hard to believe the 32-year-old's passing.

“Rest in peace, my boy. This is very sad and difficult to believe. Our heartfelt, deepest condolences to the family of Bongi Ntuli and ⁦AmaZulu Football Club,” he said.

Richards Bay centre-forward Somila Ntsundwana, who played with Ntuli at AmaZulu, said the late footballer was like a brother to him when he arrived in KwaZulu-Natal to play for AmaZulu in 2017 from Bidvest Wits.

Richards Bay player Somila Ntsundwana has paid tribute to his friend Bonginkosi Ntuli after his sudden death.
Image: Somila Ntsundwana

“Today I never thought I would be writing this, but we plan but God decided. I am devastated to hear that my friend that turned into a brother has passed on,” Ntsundwana wrote in an emotional tribute on social media.

“I could not believe how God could take someone who helped me settle in KZN when I arrived in 2017. I didn’t know anyone but he accommodated me whenever I needed something. He was there for me to the point of my family knowing him.

“I just want to say thank you for everything, my friend, my brother. You taught me a lot of things. I will forever cherish and I will never forget the impact you had in my life and family ... Rest, my brother, till we meet again.”

Many people have sent condolences to Ntuli's wife, Sinenjabulo Zungu. The couple tied the knot in a beautiful wedding ceremony in September. 

Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe was among many people who conveyed heartfelt condolences to Ntuli’s family. 

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) announced that a moment of silence would be observed in Ntuli’s honour at this week’s DStv Premiership, Motsepe Foundation Championship and DStv Diski Challenge games. 

Ntuli played professional football for more than 12 years and represented various teams, including Sundowns, Golden Arrows and Platinum Stars.

Tributes continue to stream in on social media for Ntuli from players and clubs: 


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