Community Comes Together to Support Robert Zeelie

We are sure by now you have heard about the tragic accident and circumstances of Robert Zeelie, of Christian Brothers College, Bulawayo. We are appealing to you for financial assistance to enable us to continue to offer Robert the best possible medical care we can.

Robert had left his car in Botswana prior to leaving for first team polo tour last week. He was returning to school on Tuesday morning, after our exeat weekend, when the accident occurred, 40 kilometers out of Bulawayo on the Plumtree road. We are not entirely sure what caused the accident, although a blow-out is suspected. His speedometer was stuck on 110km/hr so we know he was not speeding. How he got out alive is a miracle in itself as the engine of the car was found 3 meters away and the car was a complete, crumpled, write off.

Robert was initially attended to by Dr Msasanure who then called in Dr Mucheka. CT scans, MRIs, and more were all carried out. The results were grim. Robert had broken his neck. There was spinal cord damage caused by a crushed vertebrae and this was causing partial paralysis from the neck down. Subsequently we had discovered that both lungs were punctured and were filling with blood hence his seriously laboured breathing by the time he left Mater Dei at 5pm yesterday.

Robert’s parents, Rose and Anton, are both employees in Francistown. His Dad was extremely tearful as he explained that their salaries cover the day to day expenses but are not sufficient to afford medical aid and their companies do not offer it as a perk. We were not going to achieve much at midnight on Tuesday so we decided to give the family some time to think clearly but at 8am on the 25th about 6 of us felt that decisions now needed to be made – Robert was deteriorating, developing a fever and battling to breathe. We took the matter into our own hands as Mom and Dad were clearly overwhelmed.

We contacted Milpark Hospital who quoted us R800,000.00 for a deposit before they would give him a bed booking to enable us to mobilise the evacuation. This was negotiated down to R350,000.00 with a 30% discount on services for cash payments. This was raised by way of loans and some donations. The evacuation was also financed by a kind parent but is repayable – we negotiated this for cash at a price of USD11,000.00. Robert underwent surgery at Netcare Milpark, performed by Dr Zorio, a highly recommended neurologist.

The thoughts of everyone at CBC, and beyond are with Robert Zeelie as he recovers from surgery in South Africa. Here are just a few of the hundreds of good wishes being sent out to you…hopefully your road to recovery will be a quick one and you’ll soon be well enough to read them for yourself!

I know Robert as one of my prefects but I really got to know him as he is my older brother’s friend. On behalf of the U17 waterpolo team we would like to wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him soon. He is a strong man and I’m sure he’ll pull through.

– Tayne Mitchelle

Robert is a big brother not only to me but to the entire rugby team. His action is always for the betterment of the team. He is truly someone to look up to. It did not come as a surprise to me when he was announced as a prefect in 2014 and I was glad to see him in the board. He is an all-round player and evokes the meaning of our school motto “Viriliter Age”. He acts like a real man.

– Wandile Moyo


Robert Zeelie is in the provisional 2015 1st 15 rugby squad. He is the most eligible 8th man of the team. It is in my knowledge that the young man was working hard, training and practicing for the 2015 rugby season when he had his accident. On behalf of CBC rugby and, in particular, the CBC 1st team, the Hornets, as well as from myself personally, I wish him a speedy recovery. I sadly know that he will need time to heal from his injury but his fighting spirit gives us all hope. The Hornets team will never be the same without you, Robert.

– Mr. G Narre

I’m sorry about the car crash, I hope that you will be back at school soon and that you will be able to play rugby in the second term. You’re a great role model to me and my class.

– Murray Neilson


I have known Robert since my first day in form one at CBC. He is a very good friend and a person who is responsible, committed and focused on everything he does. He is a humble, extraordinary sportsman. Hopefully he will have a quick and full recovery and that we get to spend many more good times on the sportsfield together.

– Alvim Somango

Robert, I wish you a speedy recovery and I am praying that the good Lord places his healing hand on you

– Mrs D. Mnyenyiwa

The hospital, after reviewing his medical reports with the specialist, had informed us to expect his bill to amount to at least R1 million. We will then need to start working on finances for the rehabilitation of Robert and this is expected to cost a further R1 million.

Within Hours, a team of Marc & Mandi Mitchell, Chantelle Edwards, Tara Maidwell, Jenny O’ Sullivan and Janet Smith started up a Trust Fund for Robert – Khangela Zeelie – and between them and the school, are managing the finances hour by hour.

Please, if you able to assist the fund, however big or small, or approach anyone for financial aid on our behalf, we would be extremely grateful for any and all assistance in raising funds. Robert is a special kid – all our kids are – and we have no choice but to do everything in our power to try and afford him the best possible care. We need to know that whatever the outcome, we have done our very best to try and get him back to normal, or as close as possible.

Please contact Khangela Zeelie team if you wish to assist.

Email:, and

Zimbabwe Account
Bank : NMB
Account Name : Christian Brothers College. R Zeelie
Branch : Bulawayo
Account No : 0000210257551
Branch Code : 11311
Swift Code : NMBLZWHX
Email proof of payment to and

SA Account
Bank : Standard Bank
Account Name : Christian Brothers Association
Branch : Boksburg
Branch Code : 011842
Account No : 426450353
Swift Code : SBZAZAJJ
Email proof of payment to, and

Seeing the community come together was amazing, and the Khangela Zeelie Fund is going strong, helped by the amazing community that extends far beyond the walls of CBC.

Thank you all for your kindness and compassion.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s