Former KRC Genk defender Aaron Mokoena has commended the Belgian club for retiring the jersey number 16, in honour of their late player Anele Ngcongca.
Ngcongca died in a car accident on Monday, 23 November when his vehicle rolled over on the N2 highway near Mtunzini in KwaZulu Natal.
The 33-year-old spent almost a decade at The Smurfs, a club which Mokoena also played for, two seasons before Ngcongca joined.
The 2019 Belgian champions announced that they will retire the No 16 jersey previously worn by Ngcongca following the player’s tragic death.
“That’s exactly what needs to happen in South Africa as well,” Mokoena told FARPost.
“It shows that we tend to be appreciated abroad than at home. He deserves it, I mean I saw the tribute from Genk, Kevin De Bruyne and a lot of people actually showed that respect and retiring his jersey number, that’s unbelievable. But I still believe that here at home as well, we really need to play our part,” he said.
Mokoena has described the former Mamelodi Sundowns player as an honest person and believes South Africa lost a giant.
“What a talent, I have to say condolences to Ngcongca’s family and his fans. I am humbled that I managed to captain him in the national team, we played for one team in Belgium, Racing Genk.
“As his captain he never gave me any problems, rather he made my life easy. Very humble guy and I was quite shocked that he has passed on. Very honest player in the playing field, so we have lost a giant and hopefully with us as footballers we will learn to be a bit careful and responsible,” he added.
Mokoena and Ngcongca were also part of the Bafana Bafana squad during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“I was playing right centre-half and he was playing right-back and he would make my life easier. He would cover my back, I would cover his back. But at times when God says yes, no one can say no,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ngcongca’s family have confirmed that the date for the funeral is Thursday, 3 December 2020 in Gugulethu.
RELATED STORY: Thibaut Courtois pays tribute to Anele Ngcongca
By Ofhani Munyai