Sporting fraternity shocked at ex-Bok's murder

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Thando Cezula

East London - The murder of former Springbok player Solly Tyibilika in a shebeen in Cape Town has shocked the sporting fraternity in his home province.

Eastern Cape Sports MEC Xoliswa Tom condemned Tyibilika's murder, describing the former Border Bulldogs' flanker's death as a "big blow for South African and Eastern Cape sport".

"It was with great sadness that we learned of Solly's murder. We condemn this act and hope that those who murdered him will be soon arrested," she said.

Tom heaped praise upon the fallen star, describing him as a fine young man and a disciplined player who contributed immensely to rugby.

She said Tyibilika also played an important role in uplifting the standard of rugby in the Eastern Cape by mentoring many players in the Border team.

"We send our deepest sympathy and support for the Tyibilika family as they begin their journey without Solly," added Tom.

Border Rugby Union team manager, David Reiters, who managed Tyibilika during his time with the Border Bulldogs, expressed shock at the news of his death.

"I managed Solly as captain of the Bulldogs some years ago and he exhibited such great talent and leadership. He was a great personality that had the ability to bring about a sense of unity amongst the team players. He will be sorely missed," said Reiters.

He described Tyibilika as being selfless and giving, especially when it came to his love for rugby.

"He gave up a lot of his time to coach a local youth team, contributing to the development of rugby in especially disadvantaged communities in the Eastern Cape."

Tyibilika was picked for the Springbok A team in 2004 before making his debut for the Springboks in November of the same year against Scotland.

He was also the first black African player to score a test try for South Africa.

Police do not yet know the motive for the shooting and are looking for two suspects involved in the shooting.

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