Xhosa commentator Kaunda Ntunja has passed away. #RIPKaunda

Forum » Rugby » Xhosa commentator Kaunda Ntunja has passed away. #RIPKaunda

Jul 20, 2020, 16:40

Kaunda Ntunja (Gallo)
Kaunda Ntunja (Gallo)

Respected South African rugby commentator Kaunda Ntunja has died, the family has confirmed.

He was 38.

The tragic news was confirmed by his sister, Tando, on social media on Monday morning.

"It is with deep sadness I confirm the passing of our beloved brother Kaunda Ntunja, earlier today in East London, Eastern Cape," Tando Ntunja wrote. 

"As you can imagine, we still trying to make sense of this tragic news and we ask for your love, care and discretion as we prepare to lay my big brother to rest."

Ntunja was considered one of the most animated and popular commentators in South African rugby and was a household name through his work as the anchor on SuperSport's Xhosa commentary team. 

As a player - he played flank - Ntunja captained the SA Schools side in 2000 and was a part of the Free State Cheetahs side that won the Currie Cup in 2005.

Having attended Dale College in East London, Ntunja went on to represent Border at Craven Week level and played for the Sharks, Southern Kings and Cheetahs. 

After retiring from the game due to injury, Ntunja made the step into commentary in 2009.  

Sport24 spoke to Tando Ntunja on the phone on Monday afternoon. She confirmed the family statement, but was not yet ready to provide further details. 

"We have not yet convened as a family," she said. 

"We will be doing so today and then when we are satisfied with our position, we will release another statement."

Tando Ntunja said that she would likely be in a position to answer media queries on Tuesday. 

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander paid his respects. 

"Kaunda left an indelible mark on the local rugby landscape and we will miss seeing his broad smile and hearing his voice at our rugby matches in future – this is a tragic loss, he left us too soon," he said.

"Our thoughts are with the Ntunja family and all of his friends and colleagues for this terrible loss – the South African rugby community is much poorer without Kaunda Ntunja."

It is the second tragedy to have rocked the Ntunja family this month after Mbulelo Ntunja - father to Tando and Kaunda - passed away on July 4 after heart failure. 

Mbulelo Ntunja's funeral was held in the family's home town of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on July 16.

Jul 20, 2020, 16:42

I'm not sure how many of you have ever listened to Xhosa commentary, but he was incredible. He got so emotional. It almost sounded like one of those crazy South American soccer commentators, where a pass from one player to another sounded like a winning try!

Very sad news indeed.

Jul 20, 2020, 17:00

Another Covid-19 victim

Incredibly sad.... R.I.P

Jul 20, 2020, 17:14


I'm not dismissing your comment, but I'm curious to know where you read that?

Jul 20, 2020, 19:12

I saw that as well. COVID

Very sad - so expressive in his commentary

His commentary of Kolisi on debut as captain is a thing of beauty

Jul 20, 2020, 19:29

A very dignified family statement after such a sad event, the sister also seems like a quality human being.

Jul 21, 2020, 07:40


I'm not dismissing your comment, but I'm curious to know where you read that?

No worries Flash

I have inside information

I knew this well before it hit the press, but did not say anything

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