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Tragic deaths that’ve rocked SA over past decade

South African sports have experienced many highs and many lows on and off the field over the last 10 years. Below we look at the local athletes who’ve sadly past away in the last 10 years.

As much as this nation celebrates the rise of its many sports stars, it has also mourned the deaths of many of its sports stars over the years.

In the last decade, spanning from 2014 to 2024, several sporting heroes have fallen. As listed below, these are some of the deaths that have shocked and rocked the South African sporting fraternity the most.

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SOCCER

Senzo Meyiwa (1984-2014)

The Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper was shot and killed during a home invasion in Vosloorus on 26 October 2014.

Oshwin Andries (2003-2023)

Andries, who played for Stellenbosch FC, was stabbed during an altercation at a bar in Klapmuts on 29 January 2023. He was admitted to hospital, but died a week later, just 20 days before his 20th birthday.

Siphamandla Mtolo (1993-2023)

The midfielder played for the Richards Bay in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and collapsed during one of the team’s training sessions 15 minutes before they were scheduled to finish practicing. Mtolo, who struggled to breath, was rushed to hospital, but died before they got there.

Papi Khomane (1975-2023)

The former Bafana Bafana, Orlando Pirates and Jomo Cosmos star succumbed to the injuries he sustained in a car accident while travelling to Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal on 25 November 2023. Khomane was 48 at the time of his death.

John Moeti (1967-2023)

As a member of the all conquering Bafana squad that won the 1996 African Cup of Nations, Moeti was one of the revered figures in South African soccer. He died on 6 February 2023 after an eight-month battle with an undisclosed illness.

Clive Barker (1944-2023)

One of the greatest managers to come out of South Africa, Barker was a much-loved figure locally. He passed away at the age of 78 on 10 June 2023 after suffering from Lewy Body Dementia.

Luke Fleurs (2000-2024)

The Kaizer Chiefs defender was killed by a single bullet to the upper body in an apparent highjacking that went wrong on Wednesday, 3 April 2024.

Siphiwe Mkhonza (1979-2024)

With stints for Bloem Celtic, Ria Stars, Golden Arrows, Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United, Maritzburg United, AmaZulu and Black Leopards, Mkhonza was a journeyman of note. The player-turned-analyst passed away on 5 March 2024, at the age of 45 from kidney infection.

RUGBY

Joost van der Westhuizen (1971-2017)

One of the all-time greatest players the game has ever seen, Joost van der Westhuizen was sadly diagnosed with with motor neurone disease in 2011. He lost the his battle against the illness a short six years later when he passed on 6 February 2017.

James Smal (1969-2019)

Smal, who along with the above mentioned Van der Westhuizen, was part of the 1995 World Cup-winning Springbok squad. He died on 10 July 2019 after, at the age of 50, after suffering a heart attack.

Chester Williams (1970-2019)

Williams, a 1995 World Cup-winning Springbok with Smal and Joost, died of a suspected heart attack a mere two months after Smal suffered the same fate. Williams and Smal were the Springboks’ starting wings in the 1995 RWC final.

Pedrie Wannenburg (1981-2022)

Wannenburg was one of the most underrated legends in South Africa. He made his Springbok debut against France in Paris in 2002 at the age of 21, and was a stalwart of the Bulls team that won numerous Currie Cup and Super Rugby titles in the 2000s.

He died on 22 April 2022 in Houston, Texas in the United States, after his car was struck an intersection by a vehicle driven by a 16-year-old who was trying to evade a police stop. Wannenburg’s wife and children were all in the car at the time and his son sustained life-threatening injuries.

Hannes Strydom (1965-2023)

Hannes Strydom died in a traffic collision near eMalahleni, a town in Mpumalanga, on 19 November 2023, at the age of 58.

As a prominent member of the 1995 Springbok squad, Strydom death was the fifth player from that World Cup-winning team to die after Ruben Kruger, Joost van der Westhuizen. James Small, and Chester Williams.

CRICKET

Mike Proctor (1946-2024)

The legendary South African cricketer lost his life on 12 February 2024, after he was admitted to the intensive care unit at Busamed Gateway Private Hospital in uMhlanga following a cardiac arrest.

South African sports star Joost van der Westhuizen back in 2003. Photo: AFP

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