The South African Netball National Championships taking place in Cape Town has been struck by tragedy following the death of four sportswomen who died on their way to the event in a bus accident today, December 5.
Netball South Africa is saddened by the passing of four people who were on their way to Cape Town for the 2021 SPAR National Championships.
Read the full statement | https://t.co/vEEWCnhzUn pic.twitter.com/G1hDvrfN8E
— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) December 5, 2021
The accident occurred when the bus overturned near Aberdeen, carrying the Eastern Cape’s U21 district senior players.
According to Netball SA’s president Cecilia Molokwane the deceased include three players and an official. 25 have been reported injured.
“We know by now that one of our districts was involved in a terrible accident this morning (Sunday) and we have fatalities, as the netball family we are totally devastated by this,” Molokwane expressed during the championship welcome press conference in Cape Town.
The tournament is set to go on on Monday, taking place at the Hoërskool D.F. Malan in Bellville.
“Right now, our heads are down. We come to this championship under these difficult circumstances and those of the new variant that has been detected in the country now,” said Molokwane as per Sowetan Live.
“As NSA, we are praying that whoever is affected by this horrible situation is given strength to go through this. It is not an easy thing for all of us because one life lost is one life too many and this is a terrible loss.”
The NSA believes that they cannot risk not going forward with the tournament in light of preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and for the Netball World Cup in 2023.
This sentiment also pertains to the COVID-19 backdrop that many thought might have lead the team to pull out even before the shocking news of the accident.
The Tswhane team had pulled out due to the detection of the coronavirus within their camp, as News24 reports.
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