The ACDP mourns the passing of South African multiple gold-medallist Paralympian Zanele Situ.
Zanele, who was born on the 19 January 1971, in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, was the first black South African female athlete to win a Paralympic gold medal at the Sydney Games in 2000.
She received The Order of Ikhamanga, in 2003, for her outstanding achievements during the Sydney Games in 2000, and for serving as a role model to all South Africans.
At 50-years-old, Zanele was the oldest member of Team SA to compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021.
Zanele lost the use of both her legs and became confined to a wheelchair at the age of 12. Despite being wheelchair-bound, she trained hard, overcame several obstacles, and became a winning athlete on the world stage.
Zanele Situ was not only beacon of hope for South Africans, but also living proof that global achievements and success cannot be barred by disability. She was a true inspiration to many South Africans, her peers, and people around the world. Her legacy will forever live on in the sport codes of discus, shotput, and javelin, and in the hearts of all of us who drew inspiration from her courage.
The ACDP extends our sincere condolences to Zanele’s family, friends, and colleagues.