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3 netball players, 1 official killed in bus crash en route to championships

Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane issued a statement saying NSA was deeply saddened by this news. File Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency.

Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane issued a statement saying NSA was deeply saddened by this news. File Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency.

Published Dec 6, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Netball South Africa (NSA) has confirmed that four people from its OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape have died en route to Cape Town in a bus accident early on Sunday morning.

The bus was transporting two teams and officials to Cape Town for the 2021 Spar National Championships, which starts in Bellville today (Monday). Four fatalities – three players and one official – have been confirmed.

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On Sunday evening, NSA president Cecilia Molokwane issued a statement saying NSA was deeply saddened by this news.

"Losing lives is never an easy thing to deal with.

"We are devastated by the news and we would like to send our deepest, sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.

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"We are all in mourning. The people who passed away are part of netball, and we are heartbroken by all of this."

The accident happened in Aberdeen, a small town in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality of the Eastern Cape, at around 4am.

The MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture in the Eastern Cape, Fezeka Nkomonye, and Eastern Cape Netball president, Nompumelelo Javu, rushed to the scene after the accident.

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“We can confirm that there have been four fatalities, and we are in the process of informing families," said Mpumi Javu, Eastern Cape Netball president. "This is not how we wanted to kickstart the tournament or end the year. However, we find ourselves in this situation.

"These are trying times, and we request a bit of privacy and space to handle this matter. We will liaise with Netball South Africa, and they will communicate accordingly.”

Earlier yesterday Molokwane announced that national champions Tshwane have withdrawn from the week-long championships. After Covid tests were conducted on players and management, two players tested positive.

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Over the past few days, players started showing Covid-19 symptoms. Consequently, the Tshwane Netball executive advised its mother body, Gauteng Netball, of its decision to withdraw the team for fear of compromising the event, and for the safety of individuals.

The Tshwane contingent has been advised to isolate and monitor for further symptoms.

Riana Bezuidenhout, the president of Gauteng Netball, said it was deeply disappointing that Tshwane would not be able to defend its title. However, she felt that safety and health should never be compromised.

Cape Times

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