Pretoria: Bafana Bafana will dedicate the 2013 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) to their late assistant coach Thomas Madigage, who passed away in a car accident in the early hours of Friday, 19 October.
Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund, who is still devastated by the untimely death of his assistant, who was affectionately known as ‘Chincha Guluva’, said: “Tommy, who was a committed Zion Christian Church (ZCC) member, still had so much to contribute to the country and his loss will be felt by all South Africans.
“He was so looking forward to the Afcon finals and it will be very difficult to participate without him. We will dedicate our Afcon campaign to him.”
South Africa will host the 2013 Afcon tournament, which kicks off on January 19 until February 10.
Madigage was involved in an accident in Burgersfort, 30km from his home. Attempts to revive him failed and he passed away on the scene. According to the South African Football Association (Safa), he will be buried in his home town of Driekop, 120km east of Polokwane on Sunday, 28 October.
His memorial service will take place in Johannesburg on Friday, 26 October. The venue is yet to be confirmed.
Last Friday, Safa President Kirsten Nematandani visited Madigage’s family in Driekop with other Safa senior officials.
“The outpouring of grief that has resulted from his sudden death is proof of his humble and well-loved nature. South Africa will never have another Thomas Madigage, and we as Safa will work closely with the family in these times of mourning,” said Nematandani.
Safa CEO Dr Robin Petersen said he was yet to come to terms with Madigage’s death.
He said the fact that messages of condolences were pouring in from around the world spoke volumes of the impact Madigage had on people from all walks of life.
“We have no simple answers to Thomas’s sudden death. Thomas was humble and dedicated to his work, but at the same time full of life; he was truly a gift to the nation. He will be sadly missed,” said Petersen.
Igesund, who struggled to hold back tears when he met Madigage’s 84-year old mother, Pauline, said:
“Tommy was not only my colleague, he was an honest friend, wonderful person and I will not find another sincere individual like him. I have been robbed of a true friend.”
Madigage played 311 games during his illustrious career and scored 51 goals. He had four caps for Bafana Bafana and was assistant coach for Supersport United from 2004-2012, helping them win three successive league titles from 2008-2010.