THE netball family was yesterday thrown into mourning following the death of former national team goal shooter Pauline Jani.
Jani passed away in the early hours of yesterday at Parirenyatwa Hospital after an undisclosed illness.
She was 34.
Jani was a member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and was turning out for their outfit ZRP Mambas in the Rainbow Netball League.
ZRP Sports Director Abel Chimukoko said they have lost one of their best players who would go the extra mile, even when she was not well, to assist the team.
“She passed on around 3am at Parirenyatwa. She was admitted on Thursday last week.
“She was coughing and vomiting, that is what she was complaining about.
“Then she went to the police hospital at Morris Depot, that was on Wednesday and she was admitted and (on Thursday) she was referred to Parirenyatwa but her condition continued to deteriorate.
“We have lost one of our best players, our key player. With Pauline, we knew as long as she was in the game she would deliver.”
Jani played for the national team for more than a decade and was part of the history-making Gems side that competed at the 2019 Netball World Cup in England, and finished eighth.
Former Gems captain Perpetua Siyachitema said:
“I knew Pauline for a long time. She was more like a sister because when I first met her she was very young.
“So, instead of her being my friend, I took her as my sister.
“Pauline was a friendly person, a person who was loved by everyone and a very talented netball player.
“She was fierce and defenders were afraid of her. Even the well-known defenders in Africa were scared of Pauline because she was just amazing. She was an amazing player. I think we have lost a great player,” said Siyachitema.
In their statement on Facebook, Zimbabwe Netball Association said netball has lost a true gem.