Inaugural Umtshezi/Wembezi race off to a good start


The inaugural Umtshezi/Wembezi 10km Challenge, which was staged in honour of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu in Estcourt, attracted a strong field of top class athletes in both male and female categories. The race was held between Estcourt and Wembezi on Saturday, 17 February.

Thobani Chagwe won the men's race while Janet Mbhele won the female category. The two athletes from Harry Gwala District walked away with R10-thousand prize money each.

The race, organised by KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, Umtshezi Athletics Club together with Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality, consisted of a 10km Challenge and 5km fun run on Saturday, 17th February 2018 between Umtshezi and Wembezi.

The challenge is in line with the Department’s programme of availing opportunities for youth, especially in rural areas, to participate in sport. With this sporting event, the Department aims to promote participation in sports, healthy lifestyle as well as social cohesion.

Chagwe, who holds the Mandela Marathon record he set in 2014, encouraged the youth to participate in sport as it will keep them away from the streets and substance abuse.

Due to immense turn out and participation, the organisers committed to expand next year’s race to accommodate young children as they showed great enthusiasm and willingness to be part of the event.

MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi said the race will be an annual event and will be named after Premier Mchunu, who hails from the Estcourt area. She said other distance categories will be added in the coming years.

UMTSHEZI/WEMBEZI 10KM Challenge Results


  1. Thobani Chagwe (Maxed) 30:57,
  2. Ayanda Mncube (Ethekwini) 31:19,
  3. Anele Dlamini (Hammarsdale) 31:30,
  4. Ndumiso Sokhela (Mgungu AC) 31:35,
  5. Sibusiso Kubheka (Nedbank) 31:44,
  6. Lungelo Khumalo (IND) 31:46,
  7. Jeffrey Gwebu ((KPMG) 32:03,
  8. Phalang Mosiea (IND) 32:21,
  9. Thabani Ngwenya (Petersburg) 32:28,
  10. Katleho Moloi (SNV) 32:44.


  1. 1. Janet Mbhele (Umzimkhulu) 35:53,
  2. 2. Lineo Chaka (Maxed) 37:23,
  3. 3. Makhosi Mhlongo (Boxer) 39:51,
  4. 4. Zama Mokoena (Nedbank) 40:56,
  5. 5. Nwabisa Mjoli (Hollywoodbets) 41:06,
  6. 6. Nokuthula Ntshangase (Savages) 41:51,
  7. 7. Ntobeko Mlambo (Loskop Gij) 42:01,
  8. 8. Xoli Madida (Natal Carbs) 43:11,
  9. 9. Nokukhanya Memela (Nedbank) 45:40,
  10. 10. Minenhle Mncube (Loskop Gij) 46:02.


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