Karate stars return home as orphans

2011-10-18 14:46

Two of South Africa’s rising karate stars, brothers Bruno and Rui Schwalbach, returned as orphans from the world championships in Malaysia yesterday.

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said today that the siblings’ parents, Zito and Christian Schwalbach, died in a car accident on October 9.

This was shortly after the departure of Bruno (20) and Rui (15) as part of the SA national team.

The Schwalbachs spent a night in Joburg after dropping off their sons at OR Tambo International Airport.

The following day they were involved in a head-on collision on their way home to Winburg in Free State.

Both died on the scene.

The championships in Malaysia began on October 13 and ended on Sunday.

“Our prayers are with them and the rest of the family during this time of bereavement,” said Karate SA secretary Elias Jacobs.

“They were a very close family and the parents have always supported the brothers to the fullest.”

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