Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gerda von Solms, the chief executive of the Free State Rugby Union, SARU announced on Saturday.
Von Solms passed away suddenly on Friday after being admitted to hospital complaining of abdominal pain.
Von Solms, 58, was an institution at the Free State Rugby Union having joined the organisation in 1976 as a typist and risen to the rank of chief executive in more than a quarter of a century at the union.
"We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Gerda's sudden passing," said Oregan Hoskins, president of SARU.
"She was the smiling, welcoming face of Free State rugby for as long as I have been involved in rugby and she will be sorely missed. I would like to pass on the condolences of the whole rugby community to her family and friends as well as the Free State Rugby Union.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones."