COSAFA is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of National Football Association of Swaziland (NFAS) Executive Committee member Mr Mangaliso Langwenya at the weekend.
Mr Langwenya was in attendance in the early stages of the recently completed 2018 COSAFA Cup in South Africa but fell ill after a trip to Egypt and passed away in Mbabane on Saturday.
Mr Langwenya was a former top referee who more recently had worked as a FIFA-accredited match commissioner. He was also chairman of the Lubombo Regional Football Association (LRFA).
“He was a member of the COSAFA Referees Committee and we are all devastated as the COSAFA family by the passing of Mangaliso,” COSAFA’ s Timothy Shongwe said.
Referees Manager and Instructor Mr Felix Tangawarima said “I knew him as an excellent referee, I trained him as a referees instructor, as a match commissioner and as a referees assessor. He was one of the most dedicated and loyal members of the COSAFA family. He was a father-figure to the referees in the region.”
“We are truly saddened and devastated by his passing and we would like to send our deepest condolences to his family and the National Football Association of Swaziland.”
Mr Tangawarima described his last interactions with Mr Langwenya ahead of the 2018 COSAFA Cup.
“I was with him when we were preparing referees for the 2018 COSAFA Cup, before he left for Cairo to attend a workshop for match commissioners at CAF.
“I spoke to him in Egypt and he said he was not feeling well, and I know he was briefly hospitalised there. But still he returned to be with us in Polokwane.
“But when we saw his poor health it was decided that it was in his best interests to return home, we kept in touch with him after he was hospitalised in Mbabane.”
Mr Tangawarima says there was deep shock when he relayed the news of Mr Langwenya’s passing to the referees at the COSAFA Cup.
“He commanded so much respect from all the referees, many of whom he had helped to develop over the years.”
“All the referees were saddened by his passing and his absence will leave a big hole in our Referees Committee. We thank God for the time he gave us.”