SA coach killed in car accident
South Africa assistant coach Thomas Madigage has died in a car accident, the South African Football Association has confirmed.
Madigage died in the accident near Burgersfort in Limpopo, the country's northernmost province, in the early hours of Friday morning.
"We are shocked and at a loss for words and as we speak, we are on our way to meet the family and find out what actually happened," SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani said.
"We would like to pass our sincere condolences to the family, friends and the entire nation on this shocking development."
Reports in South Africa claimed the 41-year-old died when his car hit a donkey in the road.
Madigage was appointed as assistant to national head coach Gordon Igesund in July after a successful 10-year spell on the staff at SuperSport United.
Igesund said: "I have known Tommy for many years, he was not only my assistant, he was much more than that. He was a friend.
"Since working together, he had become part of my family. You can't get a better human being than what Tommy was. He was humble, loyal, committed and sincere.
"He was so happy to be a part of the Bafana Bafana set-up and he had so much to contribute.
"He was so looking forward to the Nations Cup finals and it will be very difficult to participate without him. We will dedicate our Nations Cup campaign to him."
Madigage played for Jomo Cosmos, FC Zurich in Switzerland and SuperSport before taking up a coaching role at SuperSport.
There he worked alongside Gavin Hunt, the pair winning the ABSA Premiership three seasons in a row and the Nedbank Cup last season.
"I'm absolutely gutted, absolutely devastated," said SuperSport coach Hunt on the club's website.
"We were more than work colleagues, we were great mates off the field.
"We spent hours and hours chatting about life; not even football, more about life."
Hunt revealed he had encouraged Madigage to take up the post with the national team.
"He had a meeting with me the day before and he actually didn't want to go," Hunt said.
"I said to him that he had got to do it. I do think that I pushed him over the edge to go.
"I told him it was a (once in a) lifetime opportunity and I was so glad.
"If you look at what's happened, that he had the opportunity to have a taste of it.
"He can rest well now. It's just such a pity that he won't be there for the African Nations Cup in his own country (next year)."
Bafana Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo, who played under Madigage at SuperSport, hailed the impact the coach had had on his career.
"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," Khumalo said.
"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.
"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.
"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."
Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Dr Irvin Khoza confirmed there would be a moment of silence ahead of this weekend's Telkom Knockout and National First Division fixtures.