Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

SA boxing champion dies after shooting in Joburg

"Never have I met such a tenacious warrior with a spirit of sing and dance."

South African bantamweight boxing champion Ronald Malindi has passed away weeks after being shot in the head.

Malinga had spent several weeks in the Helen Joseph Hospital where he was admitted after being shot twice in the head in an apparent taxi-related matter in Westbury.

The 29-year-old champion is believed to have passed away at the weekend.

Malindi was undefeated in 19 fights with four defences of the national title.

On the day of the shooting, on 5 September, Malindi had spent time with his trainer Sean Smith at his gym in Sunninghill. Later in the day, on his way home, Malindi is believed to have been shot.

‘Tenacious warrior’

“Your presence will always be felt and missed in the gym,” said Smith on social platforms. “You proved you can fight beyond odds and expectations time and time again. Never have I met such a tenacious warrior with a spirit of sing and dance.”

Boxing SA said in a statement: “It is with deep sadness that Boxing South Africa mourns the loss of Ronald “King” Malindi, a true South African bantamweight champion with an unblemished record of 19 professional fights without a single loss.

“He stood just one victory away from securing sole possession of the SA bantamweight belt. Our hearts are heavy as we bid farewell to this remarkable boxer.”

Taxi operater

According to a story in Sowetan in 2020, Malindi was keen to get involved in the taxi industry as an operator owner.

The publication said Malindi had been driving a taxi out of the Helen Joseph taxi rank, close to where he trained at Bernie Pailman’s Westside Boxing Academy, for eight years.

The publication added Malindi intended to purchase his own minibus and be his own boss.

“This job has helped me in trying times while still waiting for a fight,” said Malindi at the time.

“You don’t need any CV to drive a taxi; you need a valid driver’s licence, permit and the right attitude to work with people.”

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