The 68-year-old, who was serving his second four-year term as president of the Boland Rugby Union, was admitted to Mediclinic in Worcester on Saturday (Boxing Day) but sadly passed away during the early hours on Sunday morning.

A qualified teacher, he also briefly served as the acting mayor of Montagu. However, Pekeur will best be remembered for his long and distinguished administrative service to the Boland rugby community.

Pekeur rose through the administrative ranks in his province, from chairman of the local referees society to Boland club rugby manager and eventually as the elected provincial president.

‘Ivan cared deeply for the development of club rugby and match officials in the rural areas,’ said Alexander.

‘I know the plight of match officials was a matter very close to his heart and he spend much of his time in rugby administration championing their cause.

‘The condolences of SA Rugby go to his wife Dina, family and the many friends at this very sad time.’

In a statement released by Boland, the union expressed its shock and sadness at Pekeur’s sudden passing.

‘Boland rugby is deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of our president Ivan Pekeur. Pekeur has served the union for the last 6 years as its president after a long tenure at the head of its administration.

‘Boland rugby and also rugby in South African has lost a rugby giant – a tireless fighter for the development of club rugby in rural areas and his leadership will be sorely missed. His passing is a huge loss but he leaves a legacy that will benefit Boland rugby for many years to come.

‘Our prayers are with his wife Dina and children and grandchildren in this trying time and we thank them sincerely for allowing and supporting him in serving Boland and South African rugby loyally for so long.’

Pekeur’s funeral arrangements will be confirmed in due course.