Tens of thousands of people gathered on Saturday in South Africa’s eastern city of Durban to attend the funeral of Senzo Meyiwa, the 27-year-old goalkeeper and captain of the national soccer team, which is known as Bafana Bafana.

"To the Meyiwa family, I would like to express my sincerest and deepest condolences," Danny Jordan, the president of the South African Football Association (SAFA) said in an address during the funeral.

Meyiwa, who played for local sports club Orlando Pirates, was shot and killed by gunmen on Sunday night when he was at his girlfriend's house in southern Johannesburg.

"The eyes of the South African nation are moist with sorrow," Jeff Radebe, minister in the presidency, said during the funeral too.

He added that the footballer’s killers should be brought to book and that no stone should be left unturned during investigations.

Jordan, meanwhile, further said Senzo’s determination, spiritual strength and persistence made him an extraordinary human being.

"Senzo’s life demonstrated what it means to be in tune with oneself and your life," the SAFA President said. "When you feel good and do good, you are in tune with yourself," he added.

Several politicians, businessmen, celebrities and soccer fans filled Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to bid farewell to Meyiwa, a talented player who was killed at the prime of his sporting career.

"Let’s not be here to mourn, but rather to celebrate the life of a great son of Umlazi Township," Senzo Mchunu, the premier of the southeastern South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, told the crowd.

Fans were emotional when a hearse carrying the departed footballer’s remains was driven around the stadium. Some cried as others blew the famous South African footballing trumpet known as the Vuvuzela.

South Africa's flag was wrapped around Meyiwa's casket and was later positioned in the field. His fellow team mates, black-clad, stood close by to pay their last respects.

Free transport was provided to fans from the northern city of Johannesburg to Durban in the southeast so that they could attend the funeral ceremony, which was broadcast live on national television and other broadcasters.

As football fans bade farewell to Meyiwa, other South Africans were also bidding farewell to two other sporting heroes who also died last week.

Former Olympic 800m silver medalist, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, and female national boxer, Phindilie Mwelase, were also honored.

Mulaudzi, 34, died in a car accident last week. He won the 800m silver medal at Athens 2004 Olympics and the gold medal at Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Boxer Mwelase died last Saturday after spending two weeks in coma, following an earlier fight.

President Jacob Zuma said in a statement earlier that Mwelase's untimely passing had robbed the country of a role model.

"On behalf of the government and all South Africans, we wish to convey our earnest condolences to the family, relatives, friends and the entire boxing fraternity," the President said.

Anadolu Agency