The death of polo player Sibusiso Duma, 27, has stunned the polo community, with his end being described as a “tragedy” and “waste”.
The police said that Duma, a KZN development player and father of a three-year-old, had been walking to play pool at the Bricks Spaza Shop in Lidgetton on Tuesday afternoon when he was stabbed to death.
Police spokesman Jay Naicker, said investigations were under way but neither a motive nor a suspect had come to light.
Duma had represented the country in international tournaments since 2009 and was a protégé of the Maybach Foundation, a German organisation that supports leaders who it believes have exceptional talent but are facing adversity.
SA polo team captain Selby Williamson said Duma had represented the country in a tournament against Australia and would have played in the World Cup in Malaysia last year but was injured. Duma had been waiting for a visa to take up a position at the Cowdray Park Polo Club, “the home of polo in England”, to train under polo great Allan Kent.
“His death is a tragedy,” said Williamson. “He had the agility of a gymnast, the strength of a rugby player, a quick mind and the finesse of a ballet dancer. These are the skills you need to be a great player. He had it all. He was coming into his own.”
Kent said: “Sitting here in England it is hard to process something so violent. He was going to ride young horses for me and become a part of the English polo playing scene. This is a terrible waste of a talented young guy.”
Duma’s sister S’thembile said her brother had been loving and generous. “He was a family man,” she said.
“I am unemployed, my mother is on pension and my father is working on the farm. He was supporting us. We don’t know what happened, but if this is God’s will then we must accept it.”
Duma had travelled to Argentina, Spain, France, Germany and the UK to hone his skill.
Dargle Valley farmer Dieter Rowe-Setz, who took Duma under his wing when he was 13, said the youngster’s dedication and passion for horses had been exceptional.
“S’bu was born on a farm close to a polo-playing family. They were the first to recognise his talent. Polo is a very expensive sport and if you don’t have horses you can’t play. When the family sold the farm and S’bu moved to Lidgetton, our family made sure he was able to keep playing.
“He was still riding here right up to yesterday (Tuesday),” he said. - The Mercury