Springboks fan dies after ‘tragic’ incident during Rugby World Cup trophy tour

Jared Wright
Fans wave a Springbok flag and South African flag in front of the City Hall during the Springbok Trophy tour.

Fans wave a Springbok flag and South African flag in front of the City Hall during the Springbok Trophy tour.

SA Rugby have extended their condolences after a young Springboks fan tragically died after an incident during the Rugby World Cup trophy tour.

South Africa claimed back-to-back World Cup titles, defeating New Zealand 12-11 in the final in Paris on October 28.

Following the conclusion of the tournament, captain Siya Kolisi and the Boks’ squad took the William Webb Ellis Cup on a tour of South Africa, passing through Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and parts of KwaZulu-Natal before the final stop in East London.

Tragic incident

While fans celebrated with their heroes, there was a tragic accident in East London with fan Minentle Noqhamka, a 20-year-old University of Fort Hare student, admitted to hospital after an accident involving an Armoured 4×4 Personnel Carrier.

“She was knocked by a police nyala on her legs,” Sithembiso, Minentle’s father, said at the time.

“Her left leg was amputated at the hospital. It’s very sad for us as a family. We are still trying to come to terms with this.”

On Wednesday, reports emerged that Minentle’s family confirmed that she had passed away in hospital.

“Heartfelt condolences”

SA Rugby has since released a statement extending their condolences to the family.

“SA Rugby has been advised of the death of a spectator following an accident with a police vehicle during the final stage of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour,” the statement read.

President Mr Mark Alexander added: “SA Rugby is deeply saddened by the news of a tragic incident during the festivities celebrating South Africa’s 2023 Rugby World Cup victory tour.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Minentle Noqhamka’s family and friends after her life was so abruptly cut short by this terrible accident.

“The Trophy Tour celebration was to share the joy of success and victory to have it end in sorrow for this family is awful. We share the family’s grief.”

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