South Africa Police have confirmed on Friday morning that Assistant coach of the football national team, Bafana Bafana, Thomas Madigage has been killed in an accident near Burgersfort.
The 41-year-old was killed in a car accident on Thursday night when his car struck a donkey while travelling in Limpopo and rolled. Madigage was alone in the car.
Madigage had only just returned from national team duty with Bafana in Poland and Kenya, was alone in his car on the R37 – between Polokwane and Burgersfort – when the donkey crossed the road.
The South African Football Association (Safa) has also released a statement confirming the sad news,"It is with shock and regret that the South African Football Association has learnt of the untimely passing on of Bafana Bafana assistant coach, Thomas Madigage in a car accident near Burgersfort in Limpopo in the early hours of this morning."
Safa president Kirsten Nematandani sent his hearfelt condolences to the family and the nation, "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,”
“We would like to pass our sincere condolences to the family, friends and the entire nation on this shocking development,” added the Safa president.
He was appointed assistant coach to the national side by coach Gordon Igesund earlier this year, having spent a decade at SuperSport United as an assistant to first Pitso Mosimane and then Gavin Hunt.
During that time the club won three League titles, the SAA Supa8, Absa Cup and just last season the Nedbank Cup.
Madigage was a shy character, but highly praised for his football acumen, and a much-loved figure throughout South African football.
At one stage he held the record as the youngest player to appear in a South African league match aged 16.
He started his career at Jomo Cosmos and moved on FC Zurich in Switzerland, where he played just one game before a knee injury kept him out for a whole season.
Injuries subsequently plagued his career and he only made four national team appearances, not nearly enough for a player of his immense quality.
He ended his playing career at SuperSport United where he took on a player-coach role and then his long-time career as assistant.
R.I.P Thomas Madigage