The Gentle Giant of South African boxing, Corrie Sanders, was laid to rest yesterday at the Heatherdale cemetery in Pretoria. Sanders died in Kalafong Hospital last Sunday after being shot in a restaurant in Brits in North West.
The former champ was attending his nephew's birthday at the lodge when robbers opened fire. He died while protecting his daughter Marinique.
Sanders was hailed and praised for the big impact he had on South African boxing. He was world champion in 2003 in his weight division and when he retired in 2008 he won 38 of the 42 matches he ever fought. But it was the son, father and friend and avid golfer that most people paid tribute to.
Many well known sports figures sent their condolences including golfers Gary Player and Ernie Els. Former ruby players Joost van der Westhuizen and James Dalton as well as the Afrikaans singer Kurt Darren attended the funeral service.
Before the casket with the a wreath of white lilies and a pair of red boxing gloves descended into the grave the boxing gloves were given to Sander's mother,
Three men, between 19 and 27 years old, accused of killing Sanders briefly appeared in the Brits Magistrates court yesterday. The case was post postponed until next week to give the state an opportunity to verify suspects' status in the country. The men face one charge of murder and three of robbery.