Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns destroyer Tiyani Mabunda believes the sad passing of Sinethemba Jantjie in a car accident is a lesson for Absa Premiership footballers to take care of their families.
The Free State Stars forward Jantjie died in the early hours of Monday morning and will be buried on Saturday in the Eastern Cape.
Mabunda previously played for Stars who also lost star striker Richard Henyekane in a car crash in 2015.
He told reporters as quoted by the TimesLIVE website: "It really pained me. At first I thought it was one of the jokes that usually go on the 1st of April.
"But it was real painful when I had to go through the emotions of facing, even though in my absence, I've been in that situation. I know what the players are going through.
"I was there when we lost my friend Richard Henyekane and it was the same tragedy. It's really painful, not only for me, for Free State Stars players and management, but for football as a whole.
"Jantjie had a good run at Free State. He was growing and you could see that he was becoming a better player by the day.
"You could see that he already signed a pre-contract with one of the teams that contend for the league [Bidvest Wits].
"It shows his abilities were really vital for the team and its really sad to have lost one of our own. It's really painful that when we lose a footballer it's always the same problem - a car accident.
"For me it's not about the jersey I wear or the jersey he wore. It's about being a human being. Most of the footballers who play are taking care of not only themselves, but the whole family."