Former South Africa flanker Solly Tyibilika was shot dead in a bar on the outskirts of Cape Town on Sunday.
The 32-year-old, who played club rugby for Griquas, Sharks, Lions and Border, made his Test debut against Scotland at Murrayfield in 2004, scoring a try.
He played eight Tests in total, the last of them against New Zealand in Pretoria in 2006.
"Solly was a trailblazer among black African Springboks," said South Africa Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins.
"To lose him so suddenly and in this brutal manner is very distressing. The casual disregard for life in our society is shocking."
Tyibilika was born in Port Elizabeth on 29 June 1979 and first played rugby at Loyiso High School in the Zwide township.
He made his professional debut for Griquas in 2001 before moving to the Lions in Johannesburg and the Sharks in Super Rugby, for whom he made 16 appearances.
In 2008 he switched to Border in his native Eastern Cape and spent the 2011 season playing club rugby for Hamiltons in Cape Town.
"His emergence was a demonstration of what can be achieved when talent is combined with opportunity in what is aways a very competitive position in Sprinbok rugby," added Hoskins.
"I remember a very talented payer and an immensely likable young man who rose far and fast to become a Springbok early in his career."