More than 150 people and around 30 athletes from the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) paid their last respect to 16-year-old Letlhogonolo Ditire, who was killed in a car accident in his home village while visiting his grandparents.
Letlhogonolo, a grade 10-student at the Arefadimeheng High School in Klerksdorp, was a bright and upcoming development athlete from Klerksdorp. He excelled at track & field and cross-country, and lived in the Nedbank Running Club’s development housing in Klerksdorp after being recruited by development coach and former running great Pio Molokeng.
While visiting his grandparents in the Gakhunwana village, between Mafikeng and Vryburg, he was involved in a car accident. “It is very sad. No one else in the car was injured apart from Letlhogonolo, who was sitting in the passenger seat. He was not wearing his safety belt,” said Molokeng.
The funeral service was held on Friday and the NRC lent a helping hand to the family by donating R10 000 towards funeral costs and another R4 000 for transport to the funeral for the family. Mpolokeng, who respresented NRC, visited the family immediately after the accident and also helped arrange to get all the athletes to the funeral.
People from far and near came to pay their last respects. Most of the villagers from the village where he grew up attended as well as his teachers, school friends and Nedbank athletes who trained with him and stayed with him in the development housing. To them he was like a brother, said Mpolokeng.
“He was described by most as a quiet boy and everybody was very proud of him, especially as he was the first athlete in his village to be recruited by the NRC,” said Mpolokeng.”