RIP Tragic loss of a young, promising sailor in SA leaves sailing community in shock
One of their most promising young athletes, Khanya Mafuta, passed away, shocking the sailing community in both South Africa and around the world.
With the news that one of their best young talents, Khanya Mafuta, had passed away, the sailing community in South Africa and throughout the world were left in shock on Wednesday.
Mafuta, an 18-year-old victim of a stabbing at the KwaNonqaba Marikana informal settlement near Mossel Bay, passed away from his wounds.
At the Skipper Foundation in Mossel Bay, where he began learning to sail about five years ago, Mafuta was a beloved employee.
He quickly moved up the ranks as a result of his commitment and dedication to the sport. During the Youth Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands in July, he and teammate Oliver Holden competed in the 29er class for the first time as representatives of their nation.
His journey outside the nation was his first.
One of their most promising young athletes, Khanya Mafuta, passed away, shocking the sailing community in both South Africa and around the world. SA Sailing, in picture
“The news of Khanya’s sad death has left us all completely in shock. The president of SA Sailing, Michael Robinson, described him as a “really great young man” who worked hard and was developing a potential sailing career that could have significantly improved his life.
MAFUTA IS GOING TO DO GREAT THINGS IN THE SAILING WORLD
It is heartbreaking that this kind of violence and bloodshed are a daily reality for so many young people in South Africa who are merely attempting to take the right road and improve their life and those of their family, continued SA Sailing Transformation Officer Lindani Mchunu.
“So many of SA Sailing’s development programs are explicitly targeted towards at-risk youngsters, giving them a path out by exposing them to sailing, not just as a sport or pleasure but also as a potential career in the maritime industry. How severe that risk is is demonstrated by Khanya’s terrible, premature death.
“Given the ongoing risks and difficulties that our young people confront in their daily lives, our sincere hope and objective is that sailing will help people escape gang violence and poverty.
Khanya’s family, together with her numerous friends and teammates in Mossel Bay and all around the world, are in our thoughts and prayers, Mchunu continued.
On his first venture into international competition earlier this year, Mafuta not only left a lasting impression but was also on his way to huge things in South Africa.
Our sincere condolences go out to Khanya Mafuta’s family, friends, and teammates. Koray Ezer, Head of International Development at World Sailing, stated: “We are all shocked by Khanya Mafuta’s passing. He had a bright future in the sport and was a good person who worked hard and was committed.
“It is a sorrow beyond words that such a gifted and fun-loving young man should be taken from us in this way. Khanya was a fantastic example of how the sport can inspire and transform a person’s entire outlook. World Sailing works with sailing clubs all over the world to create opportunities through sailing. We will work more diligently in his memory.
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