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Punishment In The Ring...South African Female Boxer Dies After Two Weeks In Coma   
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South African sport has suffered another blow with the news that a female professional boxer Phindile Mwelase has died after failing to emerge from a two-week coma.

Mwelase – who reportedly turned 31 while in hospital last week – was knocked out by Liz Butler in a fight on 10 October in Pretoria.

The light welterweight boxer was taken first to Kalafong Hospital, but was later transferred to Steve Biko Hospital where she underwent surgery to stem bleeding on the brain. She was taken off life support and moved out of intensive care last week, but it is thought that she never regained consciousness.

She is the first female fighter in South Africa to die as a result of punishment in the ring.

The country’s ministry for sport announced on Tuesday that Mwelase had died at the Steve Biko academic hospital in Pretoria on Saturday and called it “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, and said it “grieves at the passing of a wonderful and tremendous individual”.

It is the third death for a South Africa sportsperson in less than four days after the runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash on Friday and the national goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was murdered by robbers at his girlfriend’s home on Sunday night, which resulted in widespread anger as well as tributes from South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma.

President Zuma paid tribute to the boxer and celebrated her sporting achievements in a statement:

“On behalf of government and all South Africans we wish to convey our earnest condolences to the family, relatives, friends, and the entire boxing fraternity,” he said.

“She joined a sport that is viewed as a predominantly male and was proving that women can also succeed in boxing.”
Source: allsports.com.gh

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