The Nelson Mandela Bay boxing fraternity is mourning the death of senior boxing manager Mthunzi Mapitiza.
The Boxing SA manager in Port Elizabeth died of a heartrelated illness at Livingstone Hospital on Monday – on his 70th birthday.
Family spokesperson and close friend Zola Yeye said: “I have lost part of myself. “The family is devastated. “He was the oldest in his family and a pillar of strength.
“He was the centre that held everything together. A very wise man.”
Born and bred in Mendi Street, New Brighton, the father of three was described as a great sportsman who was also the vice-president of Judo SA for 10 years.
“We thought he would recover from this illness considering that he had a great sense of humour,” Yeye said.
However, he criticised the state medical treatment Mapitiza received after falling ill.
“After he was seen by nurses at Livingstone Hospital, he waited for a doctor for four hours, only to be told to go to Dora Nginza Hospital because he lived in New Brighton.
“When he got there, he was referred back to Livingstone because Dora Nginza does not have a cardio machine.
“It was a crucial moment of his life to get treatment timeously.”
Boxing promoter Mbali Zantsi described Mapitiza as humble, sweet and someone who played by the book.
His death was a huge blow to the boxing fraternity, Zantsi said.