Cape Town – KwaZulu-Natal Sport MEC, Amanda Bani-Mapena, has confirmed that another Comrades Marathon runner has died.
Phakamani “Phaks” Tshiza reportedly died after collapsing at the Drummond while competing in the 95th down run edition of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.
His death announcement came after that of Mzameleni “Mzamo” Mthembu of Hollywood Bets athletics Club in KZN.
Mthembu reportedly had complications along the route and collapsed in Pinetown before being taken to Westville Hospital where he died,
In a statement on the department’s Facebook page, Bani-Mapena said she learnt about the death from the management of the Comrade Marathon Association during the prize and award-giving ceremony held in Durban on Monday morning.
“The first confirmed fatality was that of Phakamani ‘Phaks’ Tshiza of Adventist Athletics Club in Gauteng, who was last clocked at 8.53am in Cato Ridge.
Comrades Marathon 2022: Netcare 7 a specialised helicopter ambulance was activated to the M13 for a critically ill runner. pic.twitter.com/OjIyqvSBde
— NETCARE 911 (@Netcare911_sa) August 28, 2022
“The second one is Mzameleni ‘Mzamo’ Mthembu of Hollywood Bets Athletics Club in KZN who passed away at Westville Hospital. He was last clocked in Winston Park at 11.41am,” she said.
She said although they understood the marathon came with some health and physical risks, death was unexpected.
“I have no words. Just when we are celebrating the return of this magnificent race, tragedy also hits. While we all understand the health and physical risks associated with a race of such magnitude, we never anticipate that we would lose the lives of the athletes.
She sent her condolences to the runners’ families, friends, teammates and their clubs.
“They died doing what they loved most, which was running,” said Bani-Mapena.
She said that two other runners were reportedly in critical condition in hospital.
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe