Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo has paid tribute to the national team's assistant coach, Thomas Madigage, who was killed in a car accident in Limpopo.
"It is with deep sadness that I have just heard of the passing away of Tommy Madigage," Khumalo said.
"I was fortunate enough to have known Tommy for over six years and am proud to admit what an influence he has had over my career throughout.
"His influence on my life both on and off the field of play was immense, and I have no doubt that I would not be where I am today without Tommy and his contribution to my career and well-being."
Modigage and Khumalo formed part of the SuperSport United camp that won the Premiership title for three consecutive years, between 2008 and 2010.
"Having worked with him at both SuperSport and more recently with the Bafana Bafana squad, I know that he had a significant yet understated role with both teams," the defender said.
"But that was Tommy – never one to seek the glory.
"I will forever remember and learn from his humility, dignity, genuine care and unwavering commitment towards making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than himself."
Khumalo, who plays for Greek side PAOK, on loan from English Premiership outfit Tottenham Hotspur, sent his condolences to Madigage's family and friends.
"RIP Tommy. I will miss you, but will never forget you," Khumalo said in a statement.
"I will do whatever possible to make sure your legacy endures on and off the field of play."
The police's Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said Madigage was alone in his car on the R37 – between Polokwane and Burgersfort – when a donkey crossed the road.
"There was one car towing a caravan in front of him. That car managed to swerve and avoid the donkey but he could not. His car hit it."
The South African Football Association (Safa) was saddened by the news.
"We are shocked and at a loss for words ... we are on our way to meet the family and find out what actually happened," Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said in a statement.
"We would like to pass our sincere condolences to the family, friends and the entire nation on this shocking development." – Sapa