Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has expressed his deep sadness and extended his heartfelt condolences on the passing of South African rugby legend and former Springbok captain, Joost van der Westhuizen.
Van der Westhuizen, 45, died on Monday after a long battle with motor neuron disease.
The news was met with an outpouring of support for Van der Westhuizen and his family, and Zuma also paid his respects to the 1995 Rugby World Cup winner.
"South Africa has lost a legend and one of the best rugby players that the country has ever produced," Zuma said.
"On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, our heartfelt condolences to Mr van der Westhuizen’s family. May his soul rest in peace."
The President has also thanked the nation for keeping Van der Westhuizen in their thoughts and prayers during his illness.