Netball South Africa (NSA) confirmed on Tuesday that the player who was seriously injured in a minibus taxi accident on Sunday is paralysed. NSA chief executive Blanche De La Guerre said the player, whose family have asked that she not be named, had sustained a neck fracture and the specialist treating her said she would have very limited use of her arms only. The specialist said the first priority would be to stabilize her neck.
Two other players are still in hospital in Worcester, but the rest have been discharged from hospital. The two who are still in hospital are expected to leave hospital by the end of the week. The Boland Netball Association is providing them with accommodation and counselling. The team from Sedibeng in the Vaal Triangle was travelling to the Spar National Netball Championships in Cape Town when the driver of their taxi lost control of the vehicle, which rolled down an embankment between De Doorns and Worcester.
The player who was paralyzed in the accident was transferred to the Tygerberg Hospital because of the severity of her injuries, and there are plans to move her to the spinal rehabilitation unit at Groote Schuur as soon as possible. She will later be taken back to her family in Johannesburg. De la Guerre said NSA was doing everything it could to assist all the players, including bringing two members of the seriously injured player’s family to Cape Town. They would also arrange to fly the other players back to Johannesburg.
“We have spoken to lawyers, and will advise their netball association on the way ahead, including working with the Taxi Association and the Road Accident Fund. We have had a meeting with a representative of the Taxi Association, who have also offered their support,” she said. The Western Cape MEC and her Gauteng counterpart are both providing support and advice.