The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Organising Committee South Africa (OC) has learnt with great shock and sadness today of the passing away of veteran football administrator Reuben Mahlalela.
Mahlalela, a former Vice President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), worked for the OC as a Venue Volunteer Coordinator in the 2010 FIFA World Cup host city of Nelspruit at the time of his passing.
"Reuben's death comes as a huge shock to all of us. We saw him go into the festive season very happy and looking forward to the new year. And now, hearing of his sudden passing is very sad. On behalf of the staff of the 2010 Organising Committee I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family," said the OC's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Danny Jordaan, today.
He said Mahlalela had joined the OC as a full-time employee in July last year and had been very influential at a difficult time when the Mpumalanga Provincial Government had assumed control of the 2010 project from the Mbombela Municipality.
With Mahlalela playing an important role, the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium in Mbombela continues to make good progress, with Dr Jordaan saying Mahlalela's passing was a "huge setback" for the OC's 2010 host city team in Nelspruit.
"Reuben has, however, made his contribution to South African football. As Vice President of SAFA and as the head of delegation for Bafana Bafana at a number of major international tournaments and matches. He was a very experienced individual and football administrator and he will be greatly missed," said Dr Jordaan.