Former world champion Manyonga in trouble for breaking SA lockdown rules

South African long jumper Luvo Mayonga fined for public drinking and breaking South Africa’s strict lockdown rules
Luvo Manyonga (RSA) taking part in the long jump during the Muller Anniversary Games at the London Stadium, Stratford on Saturday 21st July 2019. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto)

South African long jumper Luvo Manyonga has been fined for public drinking and breaking South Africa’s strict lockdown rules. According to the police notice, Manyonga was caught at Thubelitsha Park in Kayamandi‚ a township on the outskirts of the famous Western Cape winelands town of Stellenbosch.

His offence is labeled as ‘failure to confine himself to his place of residence and public drinking.’

In a statement, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana of the SAPS in the Western Cape confirmed that Manyonga, had been “given a notice to appear in court for contravening Disaster Management Act regulations on 2020-05-20 in Stellenbosch, he is expected to appear in court on 2020-06-29”. Mayonga also has the option to pay a 2500 Rand (about $143) admission of guilt fine.

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The Disaster Management Act forbids the sale of alcohol and requires people to remain indoors unless they provide an essential service or are out shopping for groceries or items specifically listed by the government.

Manyonga came to prominence in 2010 when he won the gold medal in the men’s long jump event at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He has since gone on to represent South Africa at various international competitions, including the Olympics and the senior World Championships.

The 29-year-old has graced the podium on several occasions, most notably winning the silver medal behind American, Jeff Henderson at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The following year, he won gold at the World Championships in London, sharing the podium with compatriot Rushwahl Samaai, who came third at the event.

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His other major honours include gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Australia’s Gold Coast, as well as another first-place finish at the 2011 Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

His career seemed to be over in 2012 after he was banned for 18 months for failing a drugs test, which cost him the London Olympics of the same year. It was revealed that he was addicted to crystal meth (crystal methamphetamine), an odorless, colorless form of d-methamphetamine, a synthetic psychostimulant. The drug increases dopamine production in the brain and has similar effects to cocaine.

It is highly addictive and long-term use can lead to verbal problems and impaired motor skills.

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Mayonga beat his addiction in 2015‚ moving to the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre to resume his career. He failed to defend his world title at the World Championships in Doha last year, settling instead for a fourth placed finish.

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