A friend of welterweight boxer Phindilie Mwelase, who died after being in a coma for two weeks, remembered on Thursday how he was unable to give her a sparring match before the bout that led to her death.
"I failed to give her a sparring match because I was injured," Ephraim Chauke told family and friends of three sport figures who died over the past week.
"She went on to fight on Friday and she lost. She fell down."
A joint memorial service was being held for three sporting lights who were all at the prime of their careers.
Mwelase died on Saturday after being in coma for two weeks following a bout.
Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, while visiting his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo on Sunday evening. Two men entered the house demanding cellphones, and shot him before fleeing.
Former world champion 800m sensation Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a ar accident in Mpumalanga on Friday. He was on his way to Johannesburg when he lost control of his car.
The service attended by, among others, ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan, and Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, started nearly an hour late.
Chauke said he heard about the news of Mwelase being in hospital the following Monday when he went to the gym. It was a double blow for him when he was also informed that his trainer had been involved in an accident and was also in hospital.
"I could not train that day. I went back home and just sat on my couch," he said.
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