RIP to the Rose of Soweto

RIP to the Rose of Soweto

The Minster of Sports, Arts and Culture Mr Zizi Kodwa has joined the millions of South Africans in mourning the death of the three times world boxing champion Dingaan ‘the Rose of Soweto’ Thobela (57).

Thobela has been battling some illness, after failing to get in contact with him on Monday, his family became concerned and contacted the police, through their help, they managed to gain entry into the flat of the former boxing champion where they found him deceased on Monday evening, 29 April 2024.

“Dingaan ‘The Rose of Soweto’ Thobela was a champion fighter who captured the hearts and soul of the nation. The Rose of Soweto progressed from a prolific amateur boxer to become a three-time world champion as a professional,” said Minister Kodwa in his statement.

Kodwa recounted that Dingaan Thobela won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight, and World Boxing Council (WBC) super-middleweight titles. He said the Rose of Soweto was also a recipient of the Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket Award.

“Thobela fought in some of the most memorable bouts, such as the fights against Tony Lopez for the WBA lightweight title and against Glenn Catley to win the WBC super-middleweight title. Through his success and popularity, Thobela was one of the world’s standout fighters in a golden period of South African boxing.

As we celebrate 30 years of South African democracy, we mourn the loss of an athlete who did so much to elevate South African sport through his success in boxing. We also celebrate a champion boxer who inspired the nation, future boxers and champions from Soweto, Mdantsane, Thohoyandou, and other parts of the country,” said Zizi Kodwa.

“I express my deepest sympathies to the Thobela family and the South African boxing fraternity. I join millions in mourning the passing of the Rose of Soweto,” he concluded.


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