- Ex-Zambia international found unresponsive after dog attack
- 60-year-old Philemon Mulala died on the scene
- Ex-teammate Maponyane has led tributes
WHAT HAPPENED? Tributes have been paid to former Cape Town Spurs star Philemon Mulala, who was mauled to death by his own dogs this weekend, including from his former teammate and ex-Kaizer Chiefs attacker Marks Maponyane.
The 60-year-old was found unresponsive by his wife on Saturday, following an attack by his three pets—two of which have been identified as pit bull-staff terrier crossbreeds by authorities that took place at approximately 15h local time.
The identity of the former player was later confirmed by the Zambian Football Association, who mourned a fine player who left “wonderful memories” behind him.
WHAT DID THEY SAY? “Sad to read about the passing of my former teammate/striking partner at Dynamos Philemon Mulala,” wrote former Kaizer Chiefs attacker Maponyane on Twitter. “It’s reported that he was killed by his dogs.
“He was a very contradictory man or contrast in attitude,” he added, in comments to FARPost. “Very quiet as a person, but he was very strong and willing to play. He was sort of a staunch stocky striker.
“In fact, it was a surprise that he is still around because we don’t get to bump into each other a lot.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mulala’s unresponsive body was found in the garden of his Lichtenburg residence, in South Africa’s North West province, and former wideman was later declared dead at the scene.
Local police spokesman, Captain Sam Tselanyane, described the former international’s wife only belatedly finding his body after assuming the commotion from the dogs was nothing sinister.
“She did not bother to go and check what was wrong as their house is situated on a busy street and the dogs frequently barked at pedestrians and vehicles passing by,” Tselanyane told journalists. “After the electricity was restored, she went inside looking for her husband, but could not find him.
“Upon continuing with her search, the woman saw her husband lying motionless outside in the garden,” he added. “She then went outside, only to find that the husband was bitten by their dogs.”
Tributes have subsequently been paid by both the Zambian and South African football families following the loss of a player who lit up Southern African football during the 1980s.
He was a member of the Zambia team that won gold in the CECAFA Challenge Cup in 1984—the country’s first honour post independence—and was also part of Mufulira Wanderers’ dream team, alongside the great Kalusha Bwalya, in the mid-80s.
He subsequently moved to South Africa where he represented Cape Town Spurs and Dynamos FC, before going into business in his adopted nation after his playing career ended.