Ernie Els, with whom Westner won the World Cup of Golf in 1996, led the tributes to his compatriot.
The two-tour European Tour was found with a gunshot wound to his head by police at the home of his estranged wife in Pennington, a town about 70 kilometres south of Durban. The couple had recently separated, according to a police spokesman.
Westner, as reported on his website, was the inventor of golf training machine Instant Golfer. He was alleged to have taken his wife as a hostage prior to the shooting.
His career was cut short through injury in 1998 when he tore ankle ligaments while playing a pro-am before the Madeira Islands Open.
Earlier on Wednesday, reports emerged in the South African media of a possible hostage situation at a Pennington residence in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal province in South Africa.
In an interview in December 2015, Westner spoke about his time in Ireland and said he still had friends there.
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He won 14 professional events, including two European Tour events, as well as the 1996 World Cup of Golf with Ernie Els.
Els, half of the Els-Westner duo that famously won the World Cup on home soil 21 years ago, added: "Sad day, our friend Wayne Westner passed today".
"Great memories thank you my friend".
He worked with some of the world's top golf coaches, including David Leadbetter, Denis Pugh, Simon Holmes and Bob Torrance.
Zwane said it was speculated that his wife was in the process of relocating to Johannesburg when Westner arrived at the estate and forced his way in.