Former African boxing champion Manelisi Mbilase has been brutally stoned to death in the Eastern Cape of South Africa for an alleged robbery against two women.
The 40 year-old, who once challenged former world title holder Malcolm Klaasen unsuccessfully for the South African featherweight crown in 2006, eventually won the belt two years later.
Losing the strap in his first defense a few months on, ‘Leli’ would retire from the sport holding a 11-4-1 record in 2009.
Reportedly spiralling into a life of drugs, Mbilase was part of a three-strong group who was chased down by the East London community in support of the victims and subsequently assaulted with stones and fists.
South African news outlets have stated those attackers were ‘shouting and singing’ as they, ‘took turns to beat him up before loading him in a wheelbarrow’ and shockingly ‘leaving him by the Government building’ as an apparent example to others.
With Mbilase in a terrible way, Police were called but it was too late to save him.
Mbilase’s brother‚ Vumile Mgunundu confirmed that the ex-boxer had simply gone down the wrong path.
“I think he succumbed to the life of drugs‚” Mgunundu told timeslive.co.za. “All he wanted was to get a fix and he would do anything to get it.”
Without any support post-career, Mbilase’s plight is a sad indication of the life prizefighters can fall into, although there has since been outrage over the way he was killed.
Stoning deaths are amazingly common-place in some territories of South Africa, with certain crimes – including stealing – deemed worthy of the punishment.
Mbilase’s funeral is set to take place on August 11.