Tributes for Comrades Marathon runner murdered while jogging in Ladysmith

Ogopoleng Modise. Picture: Supplied

Ogopoleng Modise. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 10, 2024


KwaZulu-Natal police are on the hunt for suspects linked to the brutal murder of eight-time Comrades runner Ogopoleng Modise, over the weekend.

Modise’s body was discovered near La Verna Hospital on Sunday. He was stabbed to death.

KZN police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo said police in Ladysmith were investigating a case of murder following an incident in which a 38-year-old man was allegedly stabbed to death at Ladysmith CBD.

Friend Casper Kempen told IOL that Modise had gone for a run on Saturday evening and when he failed to return, alarm bells started to ring.

“We didn’t usually go on a run in the afternoons because it got dark very quickly because of winter. It’s so unfortunate that this terrible thing had to happen.”

Kempen said he met Modise a few months ago and they became running partners.

“It was me Modise and Stevie. We ran five times a week and we were really close. Losing him in this incident is a tragedy.”
Stevie Liebenberg, Ogopoleng Modise and Casper Kempen during happier times. Picture: Supplied

Kempen said Modise had been living in the Ladysmith area with his wife for about seven months as he had been working in construction industry.

Speaking about how they met, Kempen said: “One day he saw Stevie and I running and asked if he could join us and after exchanging numbers we began running together.

“He (Modise) was a passionate runner and what made him unique was he ran races using sandals. So he brought a great uniqueness to the race.”

Kempen said while it was his 15th comrades marathon this year, Modise’s completed his eighth and it was Stevie’s first.

“We had big hopes and dreams for the next few years, but I intend running next year’s race in Modise’s honour. ”

He said that funeral arrangements had not been finalised.

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