Game lodge sponsors top SA swimmer

2008-08-01 00:00

KZN-based Thanda Private Game Lodge has come to the rescue of South African gold medallist Roland Schoeman, agreeing to sponsor his ticket to the Beijing Olympics. This follows a scam that saw Schoeman and his mother Geraldine lose thousands.

Geraldine, who cashed in retirement annuities to help fund her son’s swimming career, was defrauded of R42 000 when she booked her son’s flight to America through an Internet-based travel agency.

As reported by radio Jacaranda, she spotted the agency’s ad in the Pretoria News and spent R42 000 on a ticket to America and a ticket from Durban to Johannesburg for herself. During her flight, she was approached by a kulula.com security agent who informed her that her ticket purchase was a fraudulent transaction.

She then discovered that her son’s ticket had not been purchased from Delta airlines and had to borrow money to buy another. The case is being investigated by the commercial crimes unit.

Thanda came to the rescue because its sees Schoeman as the ideal role model for their anti-HIV/Aids campaign, “Star for Life, Aids-free, that’s me”.

After winning the men’s 50-metre freestyle event at the Fina World Championships in Montreal in 2005, Schoeman turned down a R20 million offer to represent Qatar.

Schoeman said of his new sponsor: “Thanda offers a celebration of what it is to be African. It clearly underscores my passionate belief that it is perfectly possible to be rooted in Africa, to be completely African and at the same time to be world class.”

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