Four people were still in critical condition on Tuesday after a netball team from the Eastern Cape was involved in a fatal accident at the weekend, on their way to the national championships in Cape Town.
The bus carrying the OR Tambo district squad overturned in Aberdeen. Three netball players – Phelo Charles, Indiphile Mfengu, Thabisile Maxikika – and coach Nocamagu Mvunyiswa died at the scene.
“Of the 25 people who were hospitalised yesterday, four are still in a critical condition,” Netball South Africa said in a statement.
“An unidentified number of them have been released from hospital.”
The federation held a candlelight ceremony on Monday, on the opening day of the national championships, in remembrance of the individuals who died.
The ceremony was attended by hundreds of players, government officials from the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and the Proteas team, who were at a training camp in Stellenbosch.
Government was in contact with the families of the deceased and “getting them the necessary support” they required.
“The tragic death of these athletes is indeed a serious blow to the nation and to netball, as a fast-growing sport,” said sports minister Nathi Mthethwa.
“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.”