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Gift of the Givers steps in after Netball team bus accident

Published Dec 7, 2021


Cape Town – Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers is providing much-needed trauma counselling and food supplies to teenage netball players who were hurt in a bus crash in Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape.

On Sunday netball players Phelo Charles, Indiphile Mfengu and Thabisile Maxikika, as well as official Nocamagu Mvunyiswa were killed and 25 others were injured while traveling from the Eastern Cape to take part in the 2021 Spar National Championships in Bellville, Cape Town.

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Gift of the Givers, at the request of the Eastern Cape MEC of Sport, Arts and Culture, Fezeke Nkomonye, intervened to assist.

“Three players, all teenagers, and one official passed on while eight players were critically injured and admitted in three hospitals.

“Gift of the Givers arranged meals for some of the team members who were moved to Graaff-Reinet.

“The teenagers are in shock, confused and highly traumatised.

“The parents are equally affected breaking down on video call.

“Those with mild to moderate injuries have been discharged from Aberdeen Hospital but neither taxi nor ambulance is available to reunite them with team members in Graaff-Reinet.

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“Gift of the Givers teams are on their way from Graaff-Reinet to Aberdeen, 50km away, to fetch them with our vehicles. The players are desperately in need of trauma counselling which is being arranged by us.”

Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane on Monday led a candle light ceremony in remembrance of the victims.

The ceremony was attended by all the teams, as well as government officials from the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and the SPAR Proteas, who are currently having a training camp in Stellenbosch ahead of the Quad Series in January.

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Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, said: “My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, this tragic death of these athletes is indeed a serious blow to the nation and to netball, as a fast-growing sport. These athletes were destined to participate in one of the tournaments that were meant to select future stars ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup scheduled to take place in Cape Town. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this difficult period.”

Netball South Africa on Sunday confirmed that after consultation with the relevant stakeholders, a decision to carry on with the tournament was made.

Edited by Francesca Villette

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Cape Times

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