Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) has joined millions of South Africans in mourning the passing on of former Bafana Bafana coach Ted Dumitru.
The Romania-born Dumitru passed away on Thursday, May 26 after collapsing at a shopping mall in Johannesburg.
The paramedics tried to resuscitate him but to no avail.
He was 76.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan said Ted Dumitru was a "true giant" of South African football.
"This is a very, very sad day in the history of our game," Jordaan told the official SAFA website.
"Despite his small frame, Ted was a giant of South African football and his incisive assessment to football matters earned him respect among football fans,"
"He was articulate about the game, called a spade a spade and worked within every sector of the game from development, club to national team level including technical areas with the Association.
"At the time of his untimely death, he was an active member of the SAFA Technical Committee. May his soul rest in peace"
Dumitru had a close working relationship with former Mamelodi Sundowns owner, Anastasia Tsichlas, when he coached the Pretoria side in the late 1990s. The two joined forces again when veteran coach was called to serve on the SAFA Technical Committee where Tsichlas is the current chairperson.
Tsichlas says she is gutted by the untimely passing, describing the death as a great loss to South African football.
"This is a massive loss to the entire nation," Tsichlas said.
"He was very passionate about the game and never one to hold back his opinions. Ted left a legacy behind - the South African philosophy document. He won a lot of trophies in a glittering career as a coach.
"Ted took Sundowns to the final of the CAF Champions League, he served in the SAFA Technical Committee and I was looking forward to meeting up with him next week for our regular committee meetings, unfortunately it won’t happen.
"He had so many wise things to say about the game. Ted was indeed the professor of football - a title he earned for his immense knowledge of the game of football.
"May God grant him eternal rest, and I know I am not speaking for myself only when I say we are all going to miss him and his ideas. May his family and football family be comforted during these difficult times."
Dumitru started his coaching career back in his native Romania in 1964 with a club called Universitatea Craiova.
Locally he has coached all the big guns of South African Football - Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates. In the process he won many trophies - the league title, MTN 8, Nedbank Cup, Telkom Charity Cup, Rothmans Cup and the Telkom Knockout.
He has also been at helm of several national teams - South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia and Zambia.