Sanders died saving his daughter from robbers

2012-09-24 00:00

CORRIE Sanders was shot while he protected his teenage daughter from a barrage of bullets during a robbery at a restaurant in Brits, near Pretoria, on Saturday.

The former heavyweight boxing champion succumbed to his wounds early yesterday morning in the Kalafong hospital.

As robbers stormed into the lapa they had booked, Sanders (46), flung himself over his 15-year-old daughter, Marinique. He whispered to her to “play dead, my child”.

A bullet from one of three robbers wounded him in the stomach shortly after that.

“Corrie was a hero for the world and he died as a hero because he saved his child’s life,” said Sunette Sanders (47), his ex-wife who was with him when he was shot.

She said Corrie kept telling her in the ambulance to take Marinique and their son Dean (11) home “because he did not want them to see him like this”.

The Sanders clan were celebrating the 21st birthday of a nephew, Michael, with 42 other members of the family at the Thatch Haven Country Lodge restaurant, said Corrie’s brother, Mike Sanders, yesterday. He said they had finished braaing at about 7 pm and were just about to start eating.

“Corrie, Marinique and my middle son, Morné (19), had just moved past the entry to the boma when four or five shots rang out.

“Three armed men stormed into the boma and yelled at the guests to lie down and take out their wallets and cellphones.”.

As they stormed in, said Mike, Morné jumped under the food tables and Corrie flung himself over Marinique.

The robbers grabbed cellphones and wallets and other valuables, shooting wildly into the air and ground “so that the stones were flying. They must have shot 30 rounds — it was like a battle scene.

“I could not believe what was happening,” said Mike.

When a car alarm went off the robbers fled.

“It was suddenly quiet. Only when Corrie remained on the ground did we realise he was shot.”

One of the rounds had gone through his right arm and penetrated his stomach. Paramedics rushed Sanders to the Kalafong hospital for an emergency operation. He died at from his wounds at about 4 am.

Sanders was involved with Shout SA, an organisation working for a safer South Africa. The singer, Danny K, co-founder of Shout SA, said Sanders recently took part in a golf day to raise funds for a library in a township.

Mike yesterday said his brother was a “big man with a very small heart”.

“Few people realised it. He would never hurt anyone outside the boxing ring. He really loved his children. He was my only brother and I will miss him terribly.”

Sunette said Sanders was a hero to their children, who were taking the loss of their father very badly.

Sanders became the WBO world champion in 2003 when he beat Ukrainian boxer Wladimir ­Klitschko with a technical knockout. He was champion for about a year.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.