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Mike Brown's great try saving tackle


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Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kobus Engelbrecht, paralysed playing rugby in 2007, murdered

Kobus Engelbrecht, paralysed playing rugby in 2007, murdered

It's with great sadness, and a huge amount of shock, that this post is to inform you of the untimely passing of young Kobus Engelbrecht, who was paralysed playing rugby at school in 2007. A few hours ago, he was murdered in his home.

Those of you who have been visiting Rugbydump since the beginning will no doubt remember the story of Kobus getting injured . He was 17 at the time, and playing fullback for his high school rugby team when he was tackled low, then hit high and hard by the opposition number eight. From that moment forth, he has been a quadriplegic, as the C5&6 vertebra were damaged.

The story was posted here, and great support was shown from the international community. Since then, he's been an important part of the Rugbydump ethos, and it was just a few months ago that I was privileged enough to spend a few hours with this inspirational young man, who fought so hard to get his life back to anything that resembled normality.

His family converted their downstairs room into his bedroom, and his mom, a lovely, gentle lady, was there to support him 24/7. We joked that he had somewhat of a bachelor pad actually, as his new bedroom was fairly large, including a pool table, TV screen, and a mini fridge.

Life was anything but normal for Kobus though, who was paralysed from the waist down and had limited movement in his fingers. He spoke openly later about how when I shook his hand, he could tell I noticed that it wasn't a manly shake. I had to disagree though, as what he had been through, and how he dealt with it all, made him one of the manliest people I know.

I was genuinely touched and taken back by his spirit. Many people go through horrible ordeals in life, but how they deal with it is what sets some apart. When I left his place I felt honoured to have met him, and determined to help his cause in some way. We had spoken about various ways in which we could do so, not only for himself, but for others in the same situation.

Kobus wanted to help, and to educate those who perhaps at times don't know how to react to, or treat, those in wheelchairs, or just those who need care. We had planned to meet again, and I'd told him we'll make sure that RD Cares, a small initiative which is yet to kick fully into gear, becomes something he can be more involved in. He was excited, and despite studying to eventually be a chartered accountant, offered to give his time and told me that I could give him a call if ever I wanted to discuss anything.

I can tell you that Kobus was touched by those of you who left comments on the original post when he first got injured. He was a gentle soul who had been humbled by what he'd been through, but had a smile that could light up a room, and an enthusiasm about him that was infectious. In truth, I could write for hours about my short meeting with this fantastic guy.

On Tuesday of this week, he posted a comment on his Facebook page that said he was getting a car on Saturday, modified for him to be able to drive it, but he was very excited. " Then it's me and the open road! " he said.

Earlier today though, four years after his terrible injury, he was murdered in his home.

His mother was also murdered. It's been reported that they were both strangled in their beds, and his father attempted suicide, but survived. He has since been taken into police custody, and will appear in court on Monday. If and when more details emerge, this post will be updated to reflect them.

For now, all we can say is that it's a horrific story and one that we can't quite comprehend.

If it's indeed true that Rugby is the game played in heaven, you can be sure Kobus will be playing his heart out. Rest in peace my friend.

Posted at 2:04 pm | 139 comments

Viewing 139 comments

Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:15 pm

Rest in peace Kobus
respect from Italy

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:15 pm

A moving piece. Terribly sad news. R.I.P

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:17 pm

Rest in peace a truely sad story.

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A Welsh Man May 27, 2011 3:18 pm

That's absolutely horrific and utterly heartbreaking.

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Tim May 27, 2011 3:20 pm

Horrific story, very sad to read it. Thoughts are with his
family and friends. RIP from England

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:21 pm

Thats absolutely terrible! Rip Kobus and mom Engelbrecht..

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:26 pm

Horrible news :( Respect from Wales!

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:28 pm

Rest in peace from the U.S.A

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conners87 May 27, 2011 3:30 pm

This has brought me to tears. Devastating news. I'm sure I can speak for the whole rugby fraternity in sending his family and friends our prayers and deepest condolences. RIP Kobus. You're an inspiration.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:34 pm

RIP from singapore

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:35 pm

What a great tragedy and terrible end for a great guy like this to meet. Condolances from Wexford Wanderers Rugby Club, Ireland.

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EARugbyFan May 27, 2011 3:40 pm

RIP.

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jason May 27, 2011 3:44 pm

this has to be one of the most tragic stories i have ever heard , very sobering

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:44 pm

Oh my god....that's just terrible. I'm not sure which would be worse, a random act of violence or murdered by their father....wow.... Terrible.

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Hendrick May 27, 2011 3:44 pm

Very sadden by the new. Kobus showed what we can do if we just believed in ourselves. Rest in peace bro.

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Jeroz May 27, 2011 3:49 pm

Why would anyone do that......
I don't get it. Why???????

From Taiwan

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Weekly Lats May 27, 2011 3:53 pm

this is horrible.

See you on the pitch in heaven buddy. thoughts are with you....

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Dave May 27, 2011 3:55 pm

Heart breaking to hear of this news. RIP Kobus.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 3:57 pm

RIP bud

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Ian M May 27, 2011 3:57 pm

RIP guys.

There with just one bad tackle go all of us that cross the white lines, and it happens all too often, but Kobus' attitude to his injury was nothing short of inspirational.

Play on buddy.

From Britain

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Shane May 27, 2011 3:58 pm

Tragic news, Our prayers and condolences to all his family and friends. The Rugby world is lessened by his absence and more empowered through its contact with Kobus. An inspiration to us all given his courage and determination, RIP. Killorglin RFC, Ireland.

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Shane May 27, 2011 4:00 pm

Tragic news. An inspiration to all given his courage and determination in the face of adversity. The rugby world is lessened by his absence yet richer for its contact with Kobus. May he rest in Peace. Killorglin RFC Ireland.

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Rowan DeBues May 27, 2011 4:01 pm

Terrible to hear. Such a strong person deserves so much more than that. What an inspirational story, only to have such a tragic ending. My thoughts are definitely with the surviving family and friends. Rest in peace Kobus, and you better be racking up all the tries you missed out in heaven which you missed out on in the past 4 years.
Condolences from Peterborough, Canada.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 4:02 pm

Rest in peace kobus, may you now be in a place to reveal your skill in the counter attack #15<3

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Mark May 27, 2011 4:05 pm

Fantastic piece! A brilliant honour to a brave man! RIP

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Canada for RWC11 May 27, 2011 4:10 pm

RIP and condolences to all friends and family (that aren't fucked in the head and murder their own kin) of Kobus. R.I.P. from K/W, Ontario.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 4:12 pm

Rest in peace Kobus Engelbrecht, from Ireland.

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greg May 27, 2011 4:21 pm

Rest in peace Boet. An inspiration. big love from scotland.

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BigBucks May 27, 2011 4:24 pm

RIP bud - completely screwed over by luck.

Touching way to end the article.

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Nath May 27, 2011 4:35 pm

:( RIP a truly great man!

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Cranky Liver May 27, 2011 4:37 pm

Rest in Peace Kobus.
Brampton, Canada.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 4:37 pm

RIP buddy. I will definitely play against you up there

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Maximus May 27, 2011 4:43 pm

A sincere thought for Kobus and his mum. And all my support to his close loving relatives and friends who now have to live on and try to overcome this tragedy.
From France.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 4:45 pm

A tragedy in the tragedy.
May you rest in peace.
Blessings from Italy

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Jej May 27, 2011 4:46 pm

Puts it all in perspective RIP

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Dara May 27, 2011 4:48 pm

Ar Dheis De Go mBeidh a anam Dilis

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Rik May 27, 2011 4:49 pm

brought me to tears.. rest in peace!

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 4:49 pm

Rest in Peace brother. Earth's loss is Heaven's gain! From Kavallieri RFC - Malta

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italianscrummy. May 27, 2011 4:58 pm

Rest In Peace Kobus and Mother Engelbrecht. In my prayers tonight.

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geordie May 27, 2011 5:02 pm

Will be missed a true ambasator to the game and an inspiration for anyone involved. some sick c*nts in this world. brilliant tribute from rugbydump,sure heaven does have a rugby team and pool table, sure there will be a full back vancancy waiting for you Kobus.
thoughts with family and many friends.
R.I.P from Newcastle x

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Huh!! the 3rd May 27, 2011 5:05 pm

From the article you get the sense of humour he had facing this ordeal. He was clearly facing the challenge head on re: getting the car and for this to happen is unfathomable.

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Coops May 27, 2011 5:05 pm

Terrible news.

My thoughts and prayers, and that of the rugby community I'm sure, are with his friends and family

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 5:06 pm

Rest in Peace Kobus and Mum, Ina.

Such a loss. A clearly wonderful young man and a devoted Mother.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 5:20 pm

RIP sounds like a truly inspirational person

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thedannyclayton May 27, 2011 5:36 pm

That is an awful story and not what you expect when you log on to RD. Peace to him and his mother...poor lad.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 5:55 pm

RIP Kobus
Play your greatest games where only the best of us will get to see it brother!
Thank you RD for posting this terrible news to let us all remember such a strong, resilient character who will surely be missed by many, especially in the rugby family!

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 7:01 pm

Rest in peace Kobus,
With respect from the Isle of Wight.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 7:11 pm

Rest in peace Brother

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 7:12 pm

Very sad indeed. Rest in peace.
Mag jy nou die vrede vind in Hemel en al die uppies vat.

Riaan
Toronto , Canada

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Jack May 27, 2011 7:17 pm

Truly horrific, I didn't read the title properly and it hit me like a train when you said he had been murdered in the article.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 7:49 pm

Rest in peace from Argentina

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 7:50 pm

not quite sure from the wording, but is the father thought to be the murderer?

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 7:55 pm

Rugby has a way of bringing out the best in people, showing depths both on and off the field of play. Kobus demonstrated both.Passion to persevere and in what a circumstance. A tragic end, but what a life. He celebrated and inspired regardless. My thoughts and respect

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Ben May 27, 2011 8:07 pm

Repose en Paix Kobus.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 8:28 pm

Requiescat In Pace Kobus.

Can't say much more than this.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 8:38 pm

Wat country is he from? R.I.P

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Modena Rugby Veteran May 27, 2011 8:47 pm

Rest in peace boy.
A great player, real player Rugby is a particularly strong and courageous player off the pitch!
And you, my boy had courage and determination for two teams of S15!
Ghd

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 8:54 pm

Any way of staying updated on this story RD? I wouldn't mind an update or two instead of rugby clips again - puts things in perspective and I'd like to know what happens.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 9:34 pm

suaimhneas sioraidh air a anam.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 9:40 pm

PS tha mi an dochas gum bidh mionaid cloise anns na geamaichean a-maireach.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 9:43 pm

RIP Kobus from Scotland

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Liam Thomas May 27, 2011 9:48 pm

Followed his story from the beginning, what chilling news, so hard to get my head around, the earth have lost a truely great man! R.i.p, atleast you can get back to your rugby mate!

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 9:48 pm

I hope I'll be able to play with you in heaven one day Kobus.
And I can tell you we'll win. At least 25-3.

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 9:56 pm

RIP, respect from Portugal

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 10:00 pm

Rest in Peace, very sad news. respect from ireland.

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Stu boy May 27, 2011 10:03 pm

I must admit it breaks my heart whenever a story of a young player has such an horrific accident, and to compound that with such an horrendous act is sickening.
He seemed to be an inspirational guy who maybe could have gone on to help many others in his situation.
RIP

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Anonymous May 27, 2011 10:17 pm

A fellow lover of the beautiful game of rugby I am sure he will carry its pride and stand strong in heaven.RIP Kobus

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Adam May 27, 2011 10:25 pm

Rest in Peace

from Manchester

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Francisco Frazao May 27, 2011 10:33 pm

Rest in peace Kobus!!
Respect from Portugal

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Manfred May 28, 2011 12:22 am

Rest in peace Kobus, now you will play in heaven freely, respect from Chile

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 3:45 am

Que en Paz Descanse-Rest in Peace
Here in Uruguay he will pray for you

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 3:46 am

Que en Paz Descanse-Rest in Peace
from Uruguay

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 4:57 am

R.I.P from Prince of Wales Country Club Chile.
Respect from Us.

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 7:35 am

R.I.P. him and his mother.

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I hate ppl who write May 28, 2011 8:19 am

beautifully written and very touching indeed.

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Nico May 28, 2011 8:30 am

Rest in peace Kobus. Surely up there you'll be playing with a proud mum next to you.
Thanks RD for the tribute and letting us know about these devastating news. It certainly put some of our daily moaning into perspective.
From France/New Zealand.

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 9:01 am

Rest In Peace

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 9:03 am

RIP from Portugal
horrible story

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 9:34 am

Truly inspirational story about Kobus,with a terrible end. Rest in peace.

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Nico May 28, 2011 9:52 am

What a horrific sad story, thanks to RD for letting us know about this story.
Repose en paix Kobus.

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Flipje May 28, 2011 10:38 am

Rest in Peace

Very sad to hear about this...

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 10:50 am

this is too much, i have no words

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 11:09 am

rest in peace kobus, truely a horrible and devasting story respect from Leicester

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Alexander May 28, 2011 11:33 am

So sorry to hear such a tragic story!

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 11:46 am

Puts petty squabbling into perspective.

Sad story.

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 12:27 pm

RIP.

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 12:35 pm

Incredibly sad and tragic news.

Remember reading about this guy when he was first coming to terms with his disability and had a lot of respect for him with how was dealing with it all.

Rest In Peace

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Glyndwr May 28, 2011 1:44 pm

Gorffwys mewn hedd gyfaill, A mawr Cymeriad ac yn arwr rygbi cywir.
Stori ofnadwy yn rhoi pethau mewn persbectif.

Pob hwyl o wales

Rest in peace friend, A great person and a true rugby hero.
An awful story which puts things into perspective.

All the best from wales

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JENNIFER Kestis May 28, 2011 2:19 pm

May God bless all in pain and may all of us, wherever we may be, be held in the arms of truth and compassion. may there be an end of all suffering of all beings, everywhere, for all time....

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felix May 28, 2011 3:15 pm

such a tragic story which puts everything else into perspective.

best wishes and condolences from London to everyone close to Kobus and his mother Ina

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 3:50 pm

May you rest in peace Kobus.

Inspirational man, a tragedy.

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hayeder May 28, 2011 3:59 pm

This is breathtakingly moving. Rest in peace Kobus.

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(u-p)rick May 28, 2011 5:33 pm

Very sad. Great to see 99% of us united to show our support. Shows the true trolls are a minority on here! (

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Marc May 28, 2011 6:21 pm

What an absolute tragedy. R.I.P. Kobus and mum.

Respects from Kent

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rosh May 28, 2011 7:22 pm

oh my god that is a heartbreaking story, may him and his mum rest in peace

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 8:27 pm

Ar dheis D go raibh a hanam.
Respect from Munster.

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KimK May 28, 2011 8:27 pm

RIP dear Kobus
from Seoul (Korea)

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Leeners93 May 28, 2011 8:47 pm

ar dheis de go raibh a ainm

rest in peace Kobus

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Born To Ruck! May 28, 2011 9:24 pm

Awful news. Condolences from Cardiff, Wales.

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 11:47 pm

May you both RIP, so heartbreaking.

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 12:53 am

Desde Argentina un gran saludo a un verdadero rugbysta.Rest in peace.

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colm May 29, 2011 1:33 am

hate that this is one of the few ways i can express my condolences. I pray he is in a better place and will forever rest in peace.
truly was an inspiration.

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 2:04 am

Rest in peace Kobus. Respect from Canada. You will be missed

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Jeremy May 29, 2011 4:46 am

I'm just shocked. This is unfair.

RIP Kobus. From NZ

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 5:14 am

Rest in Peace Kobus

very very sad story

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 10:09 am

that truly is a head in hands story. RIP to a guy who seemed to have such a bright future.

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Tom D. May 29, 2011 10:14 am

Rest in peace my friend. We'll meet each other up there on the field !

Respect from Belgium

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 10:28 am

RIP Kobus.
From Guildford, England

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 11:19 am

Rest in peace from the netherlands..

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 12:36 pm

May they both rest in peace!! Horrific story! Makes you think how lucky we are!

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 12:43 pm

R.I.P Kobu from Samoa

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 2:30 pm

Respect from Spain.
Attacking a guy in a wheelchair...no mercy for that miserable coward!!

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nicolasbzh May 29, 2011 5:30 pm

RIP from France.

See you on the pitch up there.

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Jeff May 29, 2011 7:23 pm

absolutely tragic story.. close to tears.. all of our thoughts are with you kobus. rest in peace from switzerland.

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1664 May 29, 2011 7:24 pm

May your memory be forever immortalized! The rugby community must never forget you! may the calm fields grant you peace and happiness.

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French guy May 29, 2011 7:55 pm

So horrible... may they rest in peace.

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 8:38 pm

RIP x

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Anonymous May 29, 2011 9:23 pm

Rest In Peace, both of you.
From London

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 12:13 am

Tragic story. Hope heaven treats u so much better up there.
RIP to the both of ye, from cork/limerick

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 12:47 am

R.I.P Kobus and mother Engelbrecht! He was an inspiration to everyone! May his and his mother's soul rest in peace, god bless!

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Nicko May 30, 2011 1:48 am

RIP from your friends in Auckland.

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 4:27 am

God Bless your Soul mate and that of your mothers, may you replay in heaven the last match of your life that you never finished on earth and may you score the winning try at the 80th minute.

From a Saffa in Bangladesh

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 6:18 am

Rest in Peace Kobus

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pornstar May 30, 2011 7:04 am

RIP from France.

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 3:14 pm

Rest in peace Kobus, respect from Portugal...

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 7:39 pm

Terrible love from Texas

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 8:16 pm

Rest in peace, horrible news. Devastated. Massive respect from Wales.

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Anonymous May 30, 2011 10:49 pm

R.I.P

From Portugal

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Darren May 31, 2011 12:28 am

RIP buddy. Run free and hard. My prayers are with your family.

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Earl May 31, 2011 7:20 am

Inspirational and devastating, RIP

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Anonymous May 31, 2011 12:44 pm

Rest easy bruv from new zealand

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Anonymous May 31, 2011 3:25 pm

RIP Kobus, an inspirational figure taken away in a truly tragic manner

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Anonymous May 31, 2011 4:16 pm

Rest in peace, from Hampshire

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Anonymous June 01, 2011 9:13 am

rest in peace from croatia ...

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Sulette June 01, 2011 8:07 pm

I believe that most of Kobus's rugbyteam that he kept supporting after his accident, will be at the memorial tomorrow,10am south african time. Kobus and Ina, you will always be in our hearts! Will mis your smiles!

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Anonymous July 22, 2011 12:21 pm

RIP. -Singapore

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