Corrie Sanders made 'ultimate sacrifice'

2012-10-01 15:51

Pretoria - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Corrie Sanders died making the ultimate sacrifice, friend and public figure Darren Scott said on Monday.

"Corrie made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his life to save his child," Scott said at Sanders' funeral at the Wonderpark NG church in Pretoria North.

Hundreds of friends and relatives filled the church as a few close friends paid tribute to Sanders.

Scott described him as a man who deeply loved his country and his family.

"He was one of the most consistent people I ever knew. He was such a lekker, down-to-earth guy. Corrie Sanders was an incredibly gentle soul."

Sanders won the World Boxing Organisation's heavyweight title in March 2003 by dropping Ukrainian Wladimir Klitsckho in the second round in Hanover, Germany. He retired five years later.

He was at the Thatch Haven Country Lodge, in Brits, on 22 September when armed robbers entered and began firing shots at random.

Sanders was hit in the hand and stomach and died in the Kalafong hospital the next day.

In personal letters from the family, his sister Ruby described him as one in a million.

"What a blessing it was to have you as a brother."

His brother Mike, in his letter, recalled their childhood.

"I was always so proud of you. There was nothing you couldn't do. Except maybe homework, but it wasn't that important then."

Fellow boxer and friend Kallie Knoetze thanked numerous sporting personalities, such as former Springbok captain Joost van der Westhuizen and Blue Bulls president Louis Nel for their attendance.

"That's why I never became world champion. I cry too easily," he said as he wiped tears from his eyes.

A message from golfing legend Gary Player was also read on stage.

"He was a true champion. We will miss him," it read.

Slides of Sanders were projected onto a church wall, with Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up playing in the background.

Two videos of his fights and images of Sanders with his family were also shown.

Singer and friend Kurt Darren sang a song in his honour. Behind him was a video of Sanders during boxing practice a week ago. A visibly emotional Darren greeted the family as he left the stage.

Outside the church, Springbok rugby player and friend James Dalton said: "It is a great loss."

Springbok player and rugby commentator Naas Botha echoed these sentiments.

"He was just an absolutely fantastic person. It is very sad," he said.

Earlier on Monday, the three men accused of murdering Sanders appeared in the Brits Magistrate's Court.

Paida Fish, 19, Samuel Mabena, 27, and Chris Moyo, 25, each face one count of murder and three charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The matter was postponed to October 8 for further investigation. The men, all Zimbabweans, remained in custody.

Mabena also appeared in court on Monday in connection with the murder of farmer Mauritz Oberholzer near Brits on 5 September. This matter was postponed until Tuesday.

The three were arrested in the Oukasie informal settlement, near Brits, on Thursday after police received a tip-off.

  • carole.small.96 - 2012-10-01 16:09

    This is why our people want all these aliens sent home. They just come to our country to cause chaos, murder and steal and then ruSh back to their own countries knnowing the chances of being caught are very small EXCEPT if you are a VIP. Still want to know when the killers of our 3 orphans will be apprehended? RIP Corrie, youu didn't deserve this.

  • sj.fourie.56 - 2012-10-01 16:14

    Piece of trash. Those morons should be hanged. Dragged through the streets like animals. We as whites and certain blacks work hard for ourselves each day. And yet the so called gov takes hard earned money to encourage this country to overpopulate. Majority of us are getting fed up with the lack of security. Justice as well as rights for a better life.

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-10-01 17:16

    May he rest in peace.

  • yota.baron - 2012-10-01 17:27

    Truly sad that we would politicize a life lost. My heart goes out to the Saunders family. Bob you are an idiot.

  • sinethemba.bryan - 2012-10-01 17:29

    Talk about the Worlds Great ! RIP Son of the African Soil!

  • george.michaelides.71 - 2012-10-01 17:36

    Time for the Death Penalty...........hand them over...ENOUGH!!!

  • Krishna - 2012-10-01 18:09

    hang the dogs!

  • Kaliphile Nana Daka - 2012-10-01 18:11

    I feel we should all understand that this man was gunned down infront of his family, whether he was white or black fact is he was killed. The question is then, how would one feel if his kids were threatened, I will definately kill whether you are black or white. This man was just having good time with his family. Lets all admit crime is getting out of hand, where I come from we would have hunted these boys down and burnt them as well. I have been subjected to a grt deal of tribalism in other Province, racism in other places but we cant blame everybody for others stupidity. I love my country, I love it when Boks maul, Proteas batting good, Bafana scoring we should grow up and stop the blame game and work together for the betterment of this country.

      eban.tempellhoff - 2012-10-01 22:02

      You are a good man!!Will do anything for the betterment of our country too!!

      stephen.grant.186 - 2012-10-02 08:58

      Totally agree, lets all work together for our country. Lets all fight crime and intolerance.

  • michael.worgbah - 2012-10-01 18:44

    what did they gain after the murder of sanders

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-10-01 18:49

    I think there is a strong case for Zuma and the ANC Govt to be held accountable and sued based on the fact that the murderers were Zimbabwean and likely illegal immigrants.Where are the smart lawyers?

  • George - 2012-10-01 19:10

    And where pray tell is our President in all of this? Preparing another speech about how safe we really are. The Tokoloshe will visit make no mistake.

  • grant.hart.5 - 2012-10-02 08:23

    hang them all..

  • leon.havenga.79 - 2012-10-02 09:20

    Corrie's death is as undeserving as it was heroic. God bless South Africans like him and those who have to endure the relentless onslaught of rampant, senseless, and savage crimes that is so shamefully defining South Africa.

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