Mr Rademan was recently re-elected as President of EP after serving an initial term of four years. He was also chairman of the board of the Southern Kings.

The 62-year-old Rademan tested positive for COVID-19 some time ago and was placed on a ventilator in intensive care in a Gqeberha hospital, where he sadly passed away.

“We’ve lost a great servant of the game – Andre brought stability to Eastern Province in a difficult time and always put the needs of his province above his own,” said Mr Alexander.

“With Andre steering the ship in EP, things started looking much better, and he worked incredibly hard to ensure the union was in a good place.

“His re-election a few months ago showed that he had the support to ensure they move forward and despite being put under pressure from various forces in the union, Andre kept his head down and never stopped working for EP.

“He worked tirelessly with SA Rugby on one side, and the Nelson Mandela Metro, their clubs, schools and other stakeholders in EP on the other side, to bring stability to the union. This is really sad news, not only for his family and friends, but also for rugby in Eastern Province.

“Our condolences go out to his wife, Carol, their children – Chris and Werner Rademan and Chris Dicks – grand-children, other family and friends. May you find solace in the memories of a great man during this very difficult time.”

Mr Alexander also paid tribute to Rev Peter Adams, who was a long-serving liaison officer in Pretoria and often assisted visiting teams to South Africa, as well as during the local leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Rev Adams passed away from COVID-19 on Saturday. He was 47 and served as reverend in the United Reformed Church of South Africa.

“Peter was a popular liaison officer to touring teams, both in the Western Cape and in Gauteng, and served the game we all love,” said Mr Alexander.

“Apart from his calling in the church, he loved the game and after his playing days at Blakes RFC in Stellenbosch, he also served as secretary to Langa RFC.

“We are thinking of his wife, Carol, and children, Carlo and Carla, in this very difficult time.”