Itumeleng Khune has been rewarded for a brilliant year by being presented with the Sports Star of the Year award at the South African Sports Awards at Sun City.
The 26-year-old Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper came out on top despite strong competition from double world champion swimmer, Chad le Clos, US Open wheelchair tennis champion, Lucas Sithole, cricketer, Hashim Amla, and athlete, Mapaseka Makhanya.
Khune, who received over 2.7 million votes from the public, said after winning the award: “Hard work pays, but I never would have won this award if it wasn’t for the help of my team-mates, coaches and, most importantly, Bafana Bafana’s fans, who have supported me every step of the way.”
Khune is set to play for the Bafana Bafana in their friendly international against reigning World and European champions, Spain, a match that should prove a highlight of the month’s sport for fans of live football commentary.
South Africa will not be playing at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil after finishing second in a qualifying group behind Ethiopia, but the Spain friendly will be a good opportunity to bet on football.
In the 2012-13 season, Khune, who has spent his whole career with Kaizer Chiefs, helped the club secure an impressive league and cup double.
When he first arrived at the club in 1999, he was a defender, but he was soon converted to a goalkeeper and has gone on to enjoy a very successful career.
Meanwhile, the Sportsman of the Year award went to Olympic champion, Cameron van der Burgh, who won the 50 metres breaststroke at the World Championships in Barcelona.
The South African cricket side secured the Team of the Year accolade after thrashing New Zealand and Pakistan on home soil and drawing with Pakistan in the UAE.