A female boxer in South Africa has died after being in a coma for two weeks following a bout, another sports death in a country already mourning the loss of a former world-champion runner and the captain of the national football team.
The sports ministry’s announcement Tuesday that Phindile Mwelase had died Saturday in the hospital means three South African athletes died in three days.
Former 800-meter world champion and Olympic silver medalist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash on Friday. Popular national soccer team captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was fatally shot in an apparent house robbery on Sunday, unleashing widespread dismay and anger in South Africa, which struggles with high levels of violent crime.
Mwelase died at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in the capital, Pretoria, South Africa’s sports ministry said, after she was knocked out in a bout on Oct. 10. It didn’t give her age but reports said she was 31.
The ministry said it was “a very difficult week” for South African sport.
Boxing South Africa, the national federation, announced Mwelase’s funeral would be held on Saturday in her home town of Ladysmith, in the eastern Kwazulu-Natal province. Boxing South Africa said it “grieves at the passing of a wonderful and tremendous individual.”