‘We failed you’: South African Olympian Luke Fleurs killed at age 24

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A South African footballer and Olympian has been tragically killed aged 24 after being shot dead in a botched car hijacking, according to reports.

Kaiser Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs was allegedly fatally wounded during the shocking attempt in the Florida region of Gauteng, ten miles west of Johannesburg.

The devastating incident is said to have taken place on Wednesday evening.

SA Police Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo told Sunday World in South Africa: “The police are waiting for information on the incident for now.

“We will comment further on the matter as soon as we gather the details thereof.”

Sports news website iDiski Times added that a family member of Fleurs confirmed the news.

Kaiser Chiefs are yet to make a public statement.

But comments flooded in from heartbroken fans stunned and saddened by the awful news.

One said: “REST IN PEACE LUKE. It is too sad and sorry, my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. RIP.”

Another wrote: “Rest in peace King.”

A third added: “Sad day for South African sport.”

A fourth commented: “I can’t believe this.”

A fifth typed: “He had his whole life ahead of him.”

A sixth responded: “I cannot believe this after seeing him a few days ago, incredibly sad moment, my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones.”

And a final user replied: “Sorry Luke. We failed you bro. This country is in a terrible place. Rest softly Luke Fleurs.”

Centre-back Fleurs joined the Joburg-based club from SuperSport United on a two-year contract in October 2023.

Upon signing, he wrote on Instagram: “Dreams do come true,” with a photo of his beaming smile in the famous gold shirt.

Just two weeks later, the Cape Town-born star added: “Yeah, momma, I made it out of the streets, I hope you finally proud.”

Fleurs was dubbed one of the brightest rising defensive talents in South African football.

However, he cruelly did not make his debut for the Kaiser Chiefs, making the bench once for the 12-time league title winners on March 5, two days after his 24th birthday.

Fleurs was not named in the matchday squad for yesterday’s 1-0 home defeat to Stellenbosch.

He represented South Africa at Under-17 and U23 level.

And that included competing for his country at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

But despite twice being called up to the men’s squad, he was not handed a senior Bafana Bafana cap.

Fleurs met his centre-back idol Carles Puyol for his 18th birthday, posing for a photo with the Barcelona and Spain legend.

– This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission