- Muzi Manyike, the former SA Schools skipper who disappeared late last year, has been found dead.
- His family confirmed that they had positively identified his body in Ga-Rankuwa on Monday following a near three-month search.
- The police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
The disappearance of Muzilikazi "Muzi" Manyike, a former SA Schools captain, has ended in tragedy.
A statement on Tuesday confirmed that the 20-year-old's body had been positively identified by his family at the Ga-Rankuwa police station on Monday.
Sport24 has also corroborated Manyike's death through a relative as well as Kobus Porter, his agent.
According to the family, mortuary records show that the promising youngster - who was set to join the national sevens academy in January after being granted an early release from the Lions - was found on the R101 near Hammanskraal on 20 November, two days after he was last seen on CCTV footage in Pretoria North.
A missing person's docket had been opened by the Randfontein SAPS on 10 November.
"The cause of death is still not clear," the family's statement read.
"The family is working with the South African Police Service to establish the circumstances surrounding his death. We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to (South African) society (as a whole)."
Porter also lamented the loss of his young client's life.
"It's a terrible thing that's happened. We are all devastated," he said.
"We hope there are answers to be found."
The Lions also sent its condolences to the family in a statement.
"On behalf of myself, our Chairman, Mr Altmann Allers and everyone in Lions Rugby, I want to send our deepest sympathies to the Manyike family. We honestly cannot believe it and it's hard to find words right now," said Rudolf Straeuli, the union's CEO.
Sport24 previously reported that mystery surrounded Manyike's disappearance after "underlying issues" saw him abruptly left out of the Lions' successful Under-21 campaign last year.
A Head boy at Jeppe Boys High, Manyike signed a contract with the National Sevens Academy back in September and was slated to report for duty at the start of January, but told Marius Schoeman, SA Rugby's high performance manager for sevens rugby, that he had "personal issues" to sort out.
Manyike played age-group rugby for the Lions at every level and was in line to play for the Junior Springboks in 2020's Covid-ravaged programme.
Muzi, the Lions will miss you dearly and will always cherish your love and respect for the game, your rugby brothers, and the support staff.— Xerox Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) February 16, 2021
Our sincerest condolences and respect of privacy to the Manyike family in this time of anguish.