Former Olympic athlete laid to rest

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was buried at his hometown a week after he died in a car accident in Mpumalanga.

South African middle distance runner, and the 2009 world champion in the men's 800 metres Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Picture: Twitter @beningfield.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Olympic athlete Mbulaeni Mulaudzi has now been finally laid to rest in Polokwane.

The 800m world champion was buried at his hometown a week after he died in a car accident in Mpumalanga.

Politicians, government officials and athletic friends joined the Mulaudzi family to bid their final farewell to the sports hero.

Athletics South Africa's (ASA) president Aleck Skhosana says it was an emotional day.

"It was a sombre mood, we had villagers attending, politicians, artists to bid farewell to our world champion, hero and icon."

Skhosana says at the time of the accident Mulaudzi was making his way to see fellow athlete and friend HezekiƩl Sepeng.

"He was supposed to meet with some of his former colleagues in Johannesburg, Mr Sepeng in particular. But they did not meet; I think it's because of the accident."

President Jacob Zuma last week declared official provincial funerals for Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa and Mulaudzi.

The national flag was flown at half-mast in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo on Saturday, where the two were laid to rest.

Professional boxer Phindile Mwelase, who also passed away on Sunday, was held in Johannesburg on Thursday, where thousands gathered to pay tribute.

The fallen boxer will also be laid to rest this weekend.

Watch: SA fallen sports stars remembered.

Watch: Senzo died in my arms.