Sinethemba Jantjie made his name at Mbombela United, before joining Free State Stars in 2016. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

“What a great talent” was how Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs star Itumeleng Khune described Sinethemba Jantjie, who passed away in a car accident in Bethlehem on Monday.

Free State Stars midfielder Jantjie, who was aged 30, played his last Premiership match for Ea Lla Koto on March 16 in a 4-1 victory over AmaZulu at Goble Park in Bethlehem.

The winger, who hailed from Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape, was set to join Wits next season, after signing a pre-contract with the Clever Boys.

He made his name at Mbombela United, before joining Free State Stars in 2016. Jantjie was part of the team that won the Nedbank Cup last year.

On Monday, tributes poured in for him, with Khune saying on Twitter: “May your Soul Rest In Eternal Peace Bro What a great Talent #Sad #Devastated”

His former coach at Stars, Luc Eymael, tweeted: “Very sad to hear this news ..Jantjie my boy RIP. Condolences to his family and to all Free states stars family”

Current Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela, who hails from the Free State, posted: “Our sincere and deepest condolences to the Jantjie family, his friends and fans. May his soul be a blessing. Tough times ahead for the Mokoena’s and FS Stars players and supporters. We wish them strength during this period of grief.”

A moment of silence was also observed at Orlando Stadium on Monday night ahead of the Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Kaizer Chiefs

We have received the shattering news of the passing of Free State Stars midfielder, Sinethemba Jantjie. The Chairman, Kaizer Motaung, and we at Kaizer Chiefs express our deepest condolences to the bereaved family, friends and Free State Stars in its entirety. MHSRIP.

Premier Soccer League

Rest in Peace Sinethemba Jantjie. Our hearts go out to the Jantjie family and to @FreeStateStars in their time of sorrow as they try to comprehend this profound loss.

Cape Town City

The club is deeply saddened to learn the passing of Sinethemba Jantjie. Our and prayers thoughts are with the family and the entire Free State Stars community #SinethembaJantjie #RIP

Bloemfontein Celtic

Condolences to the JANTJIE and @FreeStateStars Families for your loss due to the tragic passing of the talented Sinethemba JANTJIE. You are in our thoughts and prayers. #RIPJantjie #LoveSiwelele

Mark Mayambela

This is beyond sadness it’s true when they say “isitya esihle asityeli” I can’t even begin to imagine how his family might feel and his community! First PRO player that came out of it. He brought hope to that community. RIP Sinethemba Jantjie you were indeed Ithemba to alot

Milutin Sredojevic

It is shocking to hear sad news of passing away someone u recognize as top quality player like Sinethemba Jantjie. Sincere condolences upon unfortunate loss to his respected family,friends,his club with Management,technical team,players and whole South African football family RIP


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