Preston Davids, a judo champion and coach, was killed on Monday, August 3. The 29-year-old rising star was stabbed to death in Bellville South by two men. 

According to Davids’ brother Grant Quantenay, the incident started after a late-night game of pool at the local clubhouse on Sunday, August 2. Someone tried to start an argument with Davids but was thrown out of the clubhouse and then ripped the windscreen wipers off of Davids’s car, Quantenay tells TimesLIVE.

The man, along with his cousin, later attacked Davids’ cousin with knives and then Davids reportedly intervened, which lead to the men stabbing Davids to death in the early hours of Monday morning.

Two suspects, aged 26 and 28, have been arrested, confirms Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana.

“Bellville South police are investigating a case of murder after a 29-year-old man was stabbed at 3.15am,” she said.

Once formally charged, they will appear at the Bellville magistrate’s court.

Davids is survived by his younger brothers Grant Quanteney (27) and an unnamed 17-year-old high school student, reports Times Live. Their parents passed away several years ago.

Davids was an impressive figure in the judo world. He had won the gold medal at the South African Open in 2013, competed at many African Championships and African Judo Tournaments and took home a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Championships in 2016, according to Judo Inside. He also coached young aspiring judokas.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, coach to the national judo Olympic team Godfrey Kleinsmith, who helped raise Davids since he was 9 years old and regarded him as a son, said he believes Davids’ death was motivated by jealousy.

“This was about jealousy. It was jealousy because he was such a star, and the people loved him. What happens in this community is when you are such a role model, a skollie will always try and make a guy like that fall.

“If you take down a role model like that, then you become recognised among the top of the skollies, or you get a number because you killed a leader in a community. That’s the mess we are dealing with in our community.”

His death is a massive loss for the judo community. Many are shocked by his death, and have taken to social media to express their heartbreak.

His girlfriend of five years, Ravina Govender wrote on Facebook: “Preston Davids, there is no words to thank you for being the amazing person that you were. I am eternally grateful that I had the privilege to have loved you and in turn you matched that love. We had so many dreams and plans that will be left unfulfilled.

“Your passing has devastated me, it was unexpected and I still cannot accept it yet. If tears could build a stairway, and memories lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again. I will always love you with every fiber of my being”

A friend, Dylan Tromp, also wrote: Sensei Preston was a great friend to many and a world class athlete. He was the head coach at Cape Schools Judo and Koga Judo Club where he touched the lives of hundreds of children. He had a great passion for teaching “his kids” and loved them dearly…The world has lost a good, kind man and we will mourn his loss with great sadness. His departure will be felt by so many around the country and other parts of the world. He made it a better place.”

Fellow judoka Zack Piontek wrote: “Judo has lost one of our great examples of a good man! Preston was more than just a man competing in judo. He was a beautiful example of the values and principles taught within our beautiful sport. A greater ambassador of judo you won’t find. Your place next to the mat (and on it) will be missed! But your memories will motivate us to be at least half the man you where.”

Picture: Facebook/African Judo Union

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