Johannesburg – Double tragedy has struck the family of former boxing champion Peter “Terror” Mathebula following the death of his wife Emma on Thursday. Emma, 65, died of severe heartache while preparing to bury her husband who passed away just six days ago. Emma, who was married to the boxer for over 40 years, collapsed
Johannesburg – Double tragedy has struck the family of former boxing champion Peter “Terror” Mathebula following the death of his wife Emma on Thursday.
Emma, 65, died of severe heartache while preparing to bury her husband who passed away just six days ago.
Emma, who was married to the boxer for over 40 years, collapsed at their home in Mohlakeng, west of Joburg, on Thursday morning and was rushed to hospital where she was later confirmed dead.
Her passing came as the family was making final preparations for Mathebula’s memorial service to be held on the same day. It has since been moved to Sunday and the joint funeral for the couple will be held on Tuesday at the Ramosa Hall in Randfontein.
The family said Emma was struggling to cope with the loss of her husband even though she did not show any signs of sickness.
“They were a very close couple who have been married for more than four decades. It is natural that the death of Mr Mathebula would have affected Emma negatively.”
Dladla said her death was a huge blow to the family.
“Mme Emma passed on right in the middle of the mourning of ntate (Mr) Mathebula. She was hands-on in making preparations for Terror’s burial. She guided everyone on the preparations for the burial,” Dladla said. The couple had three children.
Sport and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who had visited the Mathebula family this week to offer his condolences, told The Star last night that his last interaction with Emma was positive.
“We introduced ourselves and told them that we were there to support them. She was crying. I told her she was not alone in this (grieving).
“We hugged each other but I could see that she was not taking it (death) very well. When I heard of her passing today (yesterday), I realised that these people (the couple) really wanted to be together and we must respect that,” said Mthethwa.
On Thursday, officials from Boxing SA and the Ministry of Sport visited the family home to show support.
And Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe said: “No one could have expected this. On Monday, I was at Mathebula’s residence to pay my respects and today I hear that Mrs Mathebula has also walked the last mile.
“We are all greatly saddened, and wish them strength, peace and love during this difficult time.”
Mathebula was the first black South Africa to win a world boxing title and he died at the age of 67 following an illness.
In 1976, Mathebula won the South African national flyweight title and four years later made history by defeating South Korean Tae-Shik Kim at the World Boxing Association flyweight title bout in Los Angeles, US. His career came to an end in 1981 when he lost against Santos Laciar of Argentina. The Star