Four Eastern Cape netballers are believed to have died in a bus accident in Aberdeen in the Sarah Baartman District on Sunday morning.
The players were apparently en route to the Western Cape where they were due to participate in the annual Spar National Netball Championships from Monday to Saturday, 11 December.
According to the spokesperson of the Eastern Cape MEC for sport, Fezeka Nkomonye, Busi Jemsana Mantashe, the bus carrying 34 occupants, including the driver and his assistant, overturned killing the four, three players and an official, while others survived through serious to minor injuries.
“It was the team that came from the OR Tambo district where they were headed to Cape Town to form part of the participating teams,” said Jemsana Mantashe on Sunday.
“The MEC has conveyed her message of condolence to the families of all who passed on during this tragic accident. She is devastated and went to the scene of the accident.”
Jemsana Mantashe said Nkomonye accompanied other netball officials to the mortuary to identify the bodies of the deceased.
The tournament, where a media briefing is set for Sunday afternoon, will cater for the seniors and Under-21 championships, which will run concurrently, with more than a thousand participants.
It is believed that the competition will be played on a district basis, which provides more opportunities than the provincial system.
Information in SunSport’s possession is that 95 teams confirmed entry, with 54 competing in the senior tournament and the balance of 41 at Under-21 level.
Efforts to get confirmation and comment from the provincial spokesperson, Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana, drew a blank as she was unavailable on her phone.
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