Former Bafana Bafana defender Anele Ngcongca has died after being involved in a car accident on Monday morning, multiple news sources said but without official confirmation.
Ngcongca, 33, had recently signed for DStv Premiership club AmaZulu from Mamelodi Sundowns and was travelling to Durban to start training with his new team.
It was to be a fresh start for the right-back, who had spent four successful seasons at Sundowns, helping them to a hat-trick of league titles.
Before that he spent nine years at Belgian side Genk, where he featured in the Uefa Champions League in five of those seasons. He also had a loan spell at French Ligue 1 side Troyes.
The Cape Town-born star was groomed through former second-tier side FC Fortune, where he was initially an attacking midfielder before being converted to right-back on the advice of ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger following a trial with The Gunners.
It was to be a masterstroke that led to an accomplished career in Europe that led to him being named in the Genk ‘Team of the Century’ along with the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Didier Zokora and Kevin De Bruyne.
He was at Genk when De Bruyne broke into the team and acted as a mentor of sorts to the youngster.
Ngcongca also featured for Bafana at the 2010 World Cup, playing in the 2-1 victory over France, and won 53 caps in all over a period of seven years – his first against Japan in November 2009 and his last versus Cameroon in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in March 2016.
He captained the national side on five occasions and was unbeaten through this matches.