DHS out of rugby fes­ti­val

MENIN­GI­TIS: Death of promis­ing player dev­as­tates school, com­mu­nity

Weekend Witness - - News - THAMSANQA MAGUBANE

DUR­BAN High School ( DHS) has pulled out of the Mar­itzburg Col­lege 150th Win­ter Sports Fes­ti­val that gets un­der­way to­day fol­low­ing the death of one of their pupils, a promis­ing young rugby player.

Mado­dandile Mavaleliso (for­merly known as Soyiki) died on Thurs­day. He took ill af­ter play­ing rugby and was taken to Entabeni Hospi­tal, where his con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated and he later died.

Week­end Wit­ness learned yes­ter­day the pupil may have died from menin­gi­tis. DHS deputy school prin­ci­pal Alan Nor­ton would, how­ever, only con­firm that they had pulled out of the tour­na­ment.

“That is all we will be com­ment­ing on, thank you,” he said be­fore putting down the phone.

The school’s web­site states that based on med­i­cal ad­vice re­ceived from Entabeni Hospi­tal, the school has de­cided to with­draw the U14, U15 and U16 rugby teams from the Glen­wood Fes­ti­val and the first XV from the Mar­itzburg Col­lege 150th Fes­ti­val.

It said pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the death do not in­di­cate any rugby in­jury and pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures have been taken to treat any­one in di­rect con­tact with Madoda with pro­phy­lac­tic an­tibi­otics. The school also put out an alert that any­one who had come into con­tact with Madoda since March 25, and has not been com­mu­ni­cated with, should con­tact the school.

Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Matthew Mar­wick would also not be drawn on why DHS had pulled out of the fes­ti­val. “We had in­for­mal dis­cus­sions, but those were con­fi­den­tial. Right now our thoughts are with our old friends DHS and the boy’s fam­ily,” he said. He added that the tour­na­ment would con­tinue.

Last year, Madoda re­ceived an award at DHS for best For­ward of the Sea­son.

In its web­site trib­ute to Madoda, DHS said: “His death has dev­as­tated the DHS com­mu­nity as Madoda was a young man dearly loved by his fel­low learn­ers, staff and par­ents. He ar­rived at School from a town­ship in Port Elizabeth, a de­ter­mined young man, high mo­ti­vated, cour­te­ous and re­spect­ful.

“Madoda’s death is a huge loss to the school.”

Marc Adam, head of sport/ U14A rugby coach wrote: “I met Madoda in the Ezee Fana Academy in Septem­ber 2011, when he was a Grade 7 boy play­ing sev­ens rugby on a rock hard, dusty town­ship field in PE.

“He was ob­vi­ously an ex­tremely gifted rugby player … it was ev­i­dent im­me­di­ately that he had ‘some­thing spe­cial’.

“As I got to know him over the next two years at DHS, that ‘some­thing spe­cial’ be­came clearer and clearer and peo­ple for­tu­nate enough to have known him would have seen the same thing. That de­sire, com­mit­ment, never-say-die at­ti­tude and joy­ful dis­po­si­tion that he had on the rugby field, trans­ferred into his life.

“He took the op­por­tu­nity he was given with two hands and com­mit­ted 110% to ev­ery­thing he did in life.

“Madoda, may you Rest in Peace. You will con­tinue to be an in­spi­ra­tion to me and many boys at DHS.

“I will never for­get the bright­est smile I have ever seen.”

Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Senzo Mchunu said he was sad­dened by the death of the pupil.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

DHS pupil Mado­dandile Mavaleliso (known as Soyiki) who died on Thurs­day.

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