Salie Fredericks (front left) was visited by members of the Springbok team at his home in 2014. CREDIT: SA Rugby

The former lock starred in non-racial rugby in the 1960s and 1970s, and was regarded as one of the finest rugby players ever to come out of South Africa.

Fredericks played out of the Green Point-based Western Province, who won the Rhodes Cup for three consecutive years from 1971 to 1973 under his leadership.

Fredericks – who is believed to have been 74 years old at the time of his passing – has been suffering from diabetes and had both legs amputated, which confined him to a wheelchair, and was known to be living in Gordon’s Bay in recent years.

He was visited by members of the Springbok team in 2014 at his home, with then-captain Jean de Villiers and Victor Matfield among the delegation.

He played in over 200 games for Western Province and nine games for the South African Rugby Union national team between 1963 and 1974, with his last match at Athlone Stadium in September 1974.

Fredericks’ Janazah (funeral) will take commence on Friday at 10 Jan Kemp Street in Panorama, with the burial at the Mowbray Muslim Cemetery in Browning Road, Observatory.

Many rugby officials, former players, colleagues and friends of Fredericks took to Facebook to send their condolences on Thursday.

Temba Ludwaba: “Legend Salie Fredericks has just passed away. Inna Lillahe wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon.”

Charles Kleinbooi said: “Today my tutor, coach, hero and friend has say farewell to us, and the whole rugby fraternity. Salie (Lippe) Fredericks may your dear sole find rest.”

WP Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield said: “Another great player left us for higher honours. Rest In Peace Salie Fredericks. We will always remember you as one of our great players.”

Trafalgar High School principal Nadeem Hendricks: “RIP Verily u returning, Salie Lippe. Greatest SARU SACOS Legend.”

Reuben Riffel: “RIP Salie Fredericks, legend the greatest SARU player ever.”

In a Facebook group entitled “images of saru rugby legends”, a number of members paid tribute to Fredericks. 

Athol Ontong: “Rest in Peace: SARU LEGEND!”

Derrick Hoshe: “Gone to soon Legend.Will always remember you during the EP vs WP games at Adcock and Athlone stadiums.RIP Legend”

Yunus Ebden: “RIP Mr Fredericks our thoughts are with your family. you really inspired me to reach for the stars. it's a sad day that you don't get the recognition from the IRB”

IOL Sport