While the South African sporting fraternity is still reeling from the death, first of Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the sensational 800m runner who died in a car accident recently and then from the high profile shooting of the Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper and captain, Senzo Meyiwa, yet another sports star has died after having been in a comma for two weeks. Phindile Mwelase, one of the few female boxers South Africa boasts of died on Tuesday at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
According to a statement from Boxing SA, the body that runs boxing in the country, Phindile who is better known in the boxing circles as the Zulu Girl, was first admitted to Kalafong Hospital in Attridgeville. Mwelase, who was in an eight round light-middleweight fight with Liz Butler on 10 October, slumped to the canvas at the beginning of the sixth round and never managed to get up from there. She was carried to hospital and had to be moved to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital where she was to undergo an operation to try and stop the bleeding in her brain.
The last fight in which she fought was apparently her fifth and according to her trainers she had lost three and drawn the other. Her former trainer, George Khosi of the George Khosi Hillbrow Boxing Club said that he was impressed with her attitude the first time that she showed up at his gym. He said she had started training with them for the first time when she came to Johannesburg in 2009. She had started her boxing career two years before in Ladysmith in KwaZulu Natal. Khosi said the death of Mwelase had saddened him grossly as he had begun to view her as one of his children.
Mwelase is expected to be buried in her hometown of Ladysmith during the weekend. KZN Professional Boxing Federation president Thulani Magudulela said even though the female boxer had moved to Johannesburg, they would be attending her funeral. He further told members of the media that he was deeply saddened by the sudden death of the promising female boxer.