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Hugh Bladen: My heart bled for Joost

The late scrum-half passed away on Monday after a long battle with motor neuron disease.

FILE: Joost van der Westhuizen at the end of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final match between New Zealand and South Africa in Melbourne on 8 November 2003. New Zealand beat South Africa 29-9. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Rugby commentator Hugh Bladen has told Eyewitness News he was partly relieved to hear of the passing of Joost van der Westhuizen because of the huge amount of suffering the former Springbok endured.

The late scrum-half passed away on Monday after a long battle with motor neuron disease.

Bladen says he visited Van der Westhuizen regularly before his death and says it's a relief to know he won't suffer anymore.

“I saw Joost deteriorating while his mind was active and clear. He had no quality of life whatsoever and he could barely sit up. My heart bled for him.”

WATCH: Remembering rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)