The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has paid tribute to legendary American basketball player Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday aged 41.
In a statement issued on Monday by national spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, the party said Bryant “stood for black excellence” in the “white-dominated USA.”
It said, “Basketball is one of the sports code in the white-dominated USA where black people have been unparalleled.”
The party added, “Against all the racism, collective humiliation and constant dehumanisation of black people, Bryant and his generation of sportsmen stood for black excellence.
“He is a flag that blacks across the world will continue to raise at the face of all white supremacy that doubts our ability and humanity.
“He is the legend that will continue to paint many walls of black lives to inspire excellence, greatness and pride.”
The EFF conveyed its condolences to the Bryant family as well as the families of the other victims of the crash.
9 people aboard helicopter
Reports indicate that all nine people aboard the helicopter passed away, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
According to the Associated Press, the helicopter went down “in a remote field” in Calabasas outside Los Angeles, California.
Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players to have played in the NBA. He was third on the all-time NBA scorers list until Saturday when LeBron James surpassed him.
His last tweet congratulated James for his milestone. He wrote, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644.”
Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his 20-year NBA career, helping them to five NBA titles.
He retired in 2016 and is survived by his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant. The couple had four children together.