Drowned boy loved rugby, had big dreams, says mom

2013-04-03 00:00

ZAKHELE Zuma, the young rugby player who drowned at the Maritzburg College swimming pool on Monday, had dreams of becoming a doctor or electrical engineer after completing school.

His mother, Busisiwe Zuma, yesterday told The Witness that the death of the 17-year-old had left a big hole in their family. Zakhele was the eldest of three children.

“No one would ever be able to fill the hole that he’s left,” Zuma said.

Speaking of her son, who played for the KZN Development side, and who took part in the Maritzburg College 150th Winter Sports Festival, she said he was a good-natured boy who always helped around the house.

“When he had something to do, he would do it. When I came back home, I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking because he would have made food for his sister and his brother,” she said.

Zakhele, a grade 12 pupil at the Georgetown High School in Edendale loved rugby, and had been playing it since he began Grade 8.

“He loved rugby, but I wanted him to focus on his studies first. He was doing very well at school.

“He wanted to study medicine or electrical engineering.

“He wanted to be a doctor,” Zuma told The Witness.

She said they were making plans for his funeral to be held this coming weekend at the family home in Dambuza.

Flags flew at half mast at Maritzburg College as a mark of respect for Zakhele’s death.

Today, the final day of the festival will see a minute’s silence before all games.

On their Twitter page, the College tweeted: After a tragic week for schoolboy rugby, the final day of the #MC150thFest will be dedicated to two young men: #RIPMadoda #RIPZakhele.

Last week, Durban High School pupil Madodandile Mavaleliso died in hospital after falling ill following a rugby match against Höerskool Transvalia at Glenwood High School’s Easter rugby festival.

Durban High School, which had been due to play at College’s festival withdrew their first team as a result, and the KZN Invitational team was put together at the last minute as a replacement.

The school’s head of marketing, Graham Bennetts said on Monday that KZN Invitational Rugby side’s game against Port Elizabeth’s Grey High School will go on, however, Zakhele’s team-mates would not take part, and the team will comprise of College boys.

“Our hearts go out to Busisiwe Zuma, on the loss of Zakhele, a 17 yr rugby player from Dambuza. The College flags are at half mast. #RIPZakhele,” @MaritzCollege tweeted.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said on Monday an inquest docket had been opened. 

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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