Who Was Philemon Mulala? Former Zambian International Footballer Mauled to Death by His Three Pet Dogs in His South African Home

The three dogs have since been removed from the property by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

A former Zambian national footballer was found dead in his own back garden after being mauled by his own dogs. Philemon Mulala, 60, who represented Zambia at the international level, was declared dead on the scene on Saturday in Lichtenburg, South Africa after his wife found him mauled to death by his three pet dogs.

Mulala participated in the 1984 CECAFA Cup, which Zambia won, and earned six caps for his country. He scored twice as Zambia defeated Kenya in the semifinals and defeated Malawi in the final. Tributes have since been paid to the former Copper Bullets star, who played for Mufulira Wanderers and Cape Town Spurs earlier in his career.

Shocking Death

Philemon Mulala
Philemon Mulala Twitter

According to reports, the attack is believed to have taken place when Mulala was alone in the garden home. He was found dead by his wife who was present at the home but didn't realize that her husband was being mauled to death by her own dogs.

The three dogs have since been removed from the property by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

"She did not bother to go and check what was wrong [when the dogs were barking] as their house is situated on a busy street and the dogs frequently barked at pedestrians and vehicles passing by," police spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane said.

Zambia flag
Zambia flag Twitter

"After the electricity was restored [after loadshedding], she went inside looking for her husband, but could not find him. Upon continuing with her search, the woman saw her husband lying motionless outside in the garden.

"She then went outside, only to find that the husband was bitten by their dogs."

Star in His Own Right

Zambia FA spokesman Sydney Mungala said: "It's such a tragic end. Many who watched him, especially fans of Mufulira Wanderers, have been pouring out their grief.

Dogs (For representational purpose only) Twitter

"Many remember him from the national team days, where he won Zambia's first major post-independence silverware. [Since retiring] he had ventured into business in South Africa."

Mulala managed three goals in six appearances for Zambia and has played left defender, right wing, and other positions over the course of his career. His two goals against Kenya in the East and Central African Championship (CECAFA) semifinal, which his team eventually won, may have been the turning point in his career.

And the Zambian FA was quick to pay respects to their deceased former player, who was instrumental in bringing them their first trophy.

"We remain with wonderful memories that the late Philemon honored us with on the pitch. There is a lot that today's players can learn from the deceased's generation," FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said.