Richards Bay GM details Siphamandla Mtolo's final moments

Richards Bay GM details Siphamandla Mtolo's final moments

Richards Bay general manager James Dlamini has shared the painful details of how club captain Siphamandla Mtolo passed away on Tuesday after collapsing at training.

Mtolo, who played a key role when the Natal Rich Boyz earned promotion to the elite division last season, passed away on his way to hospital in Empangeni.

“The tragedy struck just around 11:10 in the morning, just after a water break as the coaches were preparing to wrap up a training session,” Dlamini told Ukhozi’s FM Prime Sport with Victor Molefe last night.

“This was when S’phamandla started to feel some pain and the players jumped to his aid and put him down – that is when he started to have some seizures and we quickly took him to Empangeni Private Clinic, assisted by one of our medical assistants at the club.

“Unfortunately, he was certified to have passed away on arrival at the hospital, a very sad situation because he had shown no signs of unconfortability before this.”

The 29-year-old joined the KZN club in 2020 after a stint with Uthongathi FC, as he led the team to first place in the then GladAfrica Championship in 2021/22.

In his maiden DStv Premiership campaign, he featured in eight league matches this season while also making an appearance in the Nedbank Cup last 32.

The defensive midfielder had missed the first half of the season through a long-term injury and only made his debut after the FIFA World Cup break. 

Dlamini says the death of Mtolo has left club chairman Jomo Biyela devastated, with their immediate focus now to help the family with funeral arrangements and get professional help for the players, technical staff and officials present at the scene of the unfortunate situation.

“The chairman is really hurt because he’s very close to his players, he could barely talk yesterday after learning of the passing of S’phamandla,” he added.

“Chairman has assured that S’phamandla, as the club’s captain who worked very well with Katlego Maphathe, will be given the respect he deserves at the club until the time comes to put him in his final place of resting.

“He has also assured that the club will provide support to everyone affected at the club, be it spiritual help or professional assistance [psychologists], as this could affect the players negatively going into the last games of the season.” 

According to Dlamini, the club will meet the family again today to discuss further details about Mtolo’s memorial and funeral services.