Lebese death not negligence: Dept

By Drum Digital
24 February 2012

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Thabang Lebese's death was not caused by hospital staff negligence, the Gauteng health department said on Thursday.

"Complications that the patient experienced were not as a result of the treatment he received at the hospital or as a result of negligence by any health worker," said spokesman Simon Zwane in a statement.

Lebese died in Helen Joseph Hospital in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, on Wednesday night aged 38, after spending more than a month in hospital. The nature of his illness was not disclosed.

Zwane said Lebese received all the necessary medical treatment as well as psycho-social assistance.

"During his stay at the hospital, management met with the family and explained his condition and treatment that he was receiving."

He conveyed the department's "heartfelt condolences" to Lebese's family and fans.

The Gauteng legislature's portfolio committee for sports and recreation echoed these sentiments.

Chairwoman Nompi Nhlapo said his death was a great loss for South African football and the sports fraternity.

The committee hoped the country's youth would follow Lebese's example by working hard and maintaining a positive attitude.

Sport MEC Lebogang Maile said Lebese left a legacy of "wonderful memories of his football career" and would always be remembered as a legend.

"Our sincerest condolences to Thabang's family. I was aware he was gravely ill and had hoped that he would recover soon. It was truly upsetting to learn that he had passed on."

Lebese, affectionately known as "Chillies", also played for Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Rica Stars.

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