Former Springbok and Transvaal prop Ockie Oosthuizen has passed away following a short battle with cancer.
Oosthuizen had battled colon cancer for the past few months and passed away on Tuesday night.
The 64-year-old earned nine Test caps for the Springboks between 1981 and 1984, but in total made 15 appearances for South Africa.
At provincial level, Oosthuizen made his debut for the Leopards (then Western Transvaal) in the mid-70s before moving to the Vodacom Blue Bulls (then Northern Transvaal), with whom he won the Currie Cup, and finally the Xerox Golden Lions (then Transvaal), whom he captained.
He spent his final years living in Stellenbosch and owned the wine farm Molenvliet.
Tributes are pouring in, with SA Rugby president Mark Alexander also paying homage to Oosthuizen.
‘Ockie was a selfless man who devoted much of his time to helping others – not only in his playing days, but also thereafter,’ said Alexander.
‘Some may say he was quite outspoken, but he cared deeply for South Africa as a country and the game of rugby, even more so after his retirement and in the latter part of his life.
‘Ockie was an uncompromising prop who left an indelible mark with all the provincial teams he played for, as well as the Springboks, during a very difficult time in our rugby history.
‘He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this time of mourning.’
Rip Ockie Oosthuizen one of the Boks on our 81 tour of NZ land and the states after a fight with the big C love to Susan and family!
— Rob Louw (@roblouw6) December 4, 2019
Ockie Oosthuizen sadly passed away this morning, “Mooi loop Ockie”
— Kobus Wiese (@4KobusWiese) December 4, 2019
Photo: History of Springbok Rugby