Cape Town - The Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture paid tribute to the late Springbok legend, Chester Williams.

Williams suddenly passed away from a heart attack on Friday. He was 49.

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In a press release, the committee sent its condolences to Williams' family, loved ones and the rugby fraternity.

Chairperson of the committee, Beauty Dlulane stated that Williams belonged to the "golden generation", who changed the history of South Africa.

"The influence he had among team-mates, and the people who did not know him, is immeasurable. The country and the rugby community expected a lot from him," said Dlulane.

"He was a man who never tire to give back to the community through involvement with his foundation.

"Our country needs men of Chester's stature, honour and commitment," ended Dlulane.

Williams was a member of the 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning squad and played 27 Tests for South Africa between 1993 and 2000.

Compiled by: Lynn Butler