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SA Rugby pays tribute to Dan Qeqe

SA Rugby President Brian Van Rooyen has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Eastern Cape rugby legend Dan Qeqe, following the popular personality's passing away on Monday.

Van Rooyen said Qeqe's death will leave a void in the administration of rugby in the Province, as he was an influential leader with strong credentials.

"As a prominent leader of the non-racial movement in rugby, he was so influential in black rugby that a stadium in Port Elizabeth was named after him," said Van Rooyen.

"As SA Rugby, we recognise him for the role he played in the struggle to make rugby a non-racial sport, resulting in the unity of the various bodies in 1992. His name will feature in many chapters of those who correctly chronicle the evolution of rugby in South Africa, particularly in black areas."

The SA Rugby President said his organisation regarded the rugby stalwart as an elderly statesman, to whom many went for counsel and wisdom.

Deputy CEO Mveleli Ncula said many rugby administrators, including himself, owed their success and inspiration to "Baas Dan", as he was popularly known.

"He was a strict disciplinarian who wanted things done the proper way," said Ncula. "I served for many years under his leadership in the non-racial sports movement in the Eastern Cape. We all respected him, as he always led by example."

A senior Springbok delegation visited the house of the late player and administrator in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, yesterday as a mark of respect.

Leading the delegation were Team Manager Arthob Petersen, Head Coach Jake, his two assistant coaches, Alister Coetzee and Gert Smal and captain John Smit.

During last year's Absa SA Rugby Awards ceremony in Johannesburg, the federation honoured Qeqe with a President's Awards for long-standing service to the game.