The South African netball National Championships taking place in Cape Town has been rocked by tragedy after four people making their way to the event died in a bus accident on Sunday.
A statement from SA Netball confirmed that three players and one official died when a bus carrying two teams from the OR Tambo district was involved in an accident in Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape at around 04:00 on Sunday morning.
“As Netball South Africa we are 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 and heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones. We are all in mourning, the people that passed away are part of netball and we are heartbroken by all of this,” said Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane.
MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture in the Eastern Cape, Fezeka Nkomonye and Eastern Cape Netball President, Nompumelelo Javu were at the scene on Sunday.
Netball SA added that more updates would be made as information became available, but they also requested privacy for the families impacted.
The tournament, which gets under way on Monday and ends on Saturday, received another blow on Sunday with defending champions Tshwane pulled out due to detection of the coronavirus within their camp.
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.
— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) December 5, 2021