Hansie: Hero or villain?

2012-06-01 08:39

Cape Town - Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the death of former Proteas' skipper Hansie Cronje in a plane crash near his home town of George in 2002. He was 32.

In a poll run on the Sport24 Facebook page, it appears the South African public have forgiven Cronje for his involvement in the match-fixing scandal in 2000, which saw him admit to receiving £100 000 from bookmakers.

Cronje, who captained South Africa to 27 wins against only 11 losses in 53 Tests and won 99 of the 138 one-day internationals at the helm between 1994 and 2000.

How do YOU view Hansie?

A liar? A traitor to his country? Or has time healed old wounds and should be let bygones be bygones?


  • wynand.nel.5 - 2012-06-01 08:54

    Hansie is a hero and a legend in my eyes. He admitted he was wrong and took his punishment as a man and that made me respect him more.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 09:43

      No he didn't. He never took responsibility. He claimed the "The Devil made me do it" as an excuse for his lack of morals and love of money.

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-06-01 09:54

      My last post was deleted ! In my opinion, Hansie was probably one of the best cricketers/ captains of the modern era. His stats speak for themselves. However what he did betrayed his country, the game, his team , his fans and himself.. Further, he never came clean, he only admitted to things as they were discovered. Check the archives on this. For those that choose to forgive him, you need to be fair and have it your hearts to forgive the likes of Jacky Selebi and the other corrupt officials , who have been caught out. Corruption is coruption no matter the source of the money, and you cannot pick and choose who you you forgive. Just saying !

      Matt - 2012-06-01 12:10

      Only admitted he was wrong once caught. Invalidates any pretext at remorse or genuine regret for being a thieving scumbag.

      John - 2012-06-02 12:02

      Thank you Adrien

  • tevashnee.packery - 2012-06-01 08:55

    FFS the man has been dead for 10 years, let it go already. Sure it was unacceptable what he did given his reputation and the position he was in but he was the best captain we have ever had and a brilliant player, will always remember him for that. Get off your high horses every one of us is capable of doing the same, not saying that all of us would but as mere humans we are capable...

      rassie.venter.5 - 2013-01-16 11:09

      You do get the Adiens and they most prop. live in glass houses, I say no more

  • cobus.potgieter1 - 2012-06-01 08:57

    Skynheilig, arrogant en skelm. Hou nou op met die sentimentele nonsens en sien die waarheid! Die feit dat ander ouens ligter daarvan afgekom het en nog leef, maak Hansie nie minder van 'n van 'n skaamte nie.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 09:46


      Christian Hendrik John Herbst - 2012-06-01 11:00

      So you have never lied, never even a white lie? Not even ONE mistake in your life??? Mmmm, wanna meet you so we can write a book about you!! Should be making millions...

      Riaan - 2012-06-01 15:16

      OMNI MOFO drol shut up

  • phuyzer - 2012-06-01 09:01

    Hansie Cronje was a great man, great player and great captain. Does one mistake make him worse than anyone else? NO! RIP Hansie

      Gunner - 2012-06-01 09:23

      You cannot say that match fixing is a mistake...reallity is that he was a great player but unfortunately, the temptation was also there for get rich quick scam...he fell for it and will always be remembered for it

  • thabiso.letlhabane - 2012-06-01 09:03

    every1 makes mistakes, he was a great man/captain/cricket player/ south affrican..

      Merven - 2012-06-01 09:38

      You're right with the South African part, he should've voted for the ANC, got the same corrupt mindset.

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-06-01 15:01

      @ Thabiso OJ Simpson was a great man/football player/ actor/ american.... he made one mistake too !

  • caleb.moyce - 2012-06-01 09:05

    He is a HERO!

      Gunner - 2012-06-01 09:23


  • reginald.dube - 2012-06-01 09:12

    like the spear was not enough, now news24 bring the Hansie debate...... fact is Hansie was a corrupt sport man and most of the corruption is still hidden. the irony about the hansie debate is that most people who say leave the man alone, are the very same people who want corrupt politician to be hanged.

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-06-01 09:28

      Fair enough. But the difference is that politicians play will taxpayers money, in other words, our money. Politicians work for us, they have more responsibility towards the people. RIP Hansie!!

      reginald.dube - 2012-06-01 09:38

      that is true David, but does it mean its ok to be corrupt if its private money.... or we suppose to react the same way to corruption no matter where it is. remember the rugby world cup and africa cup of nation (how united south africa was) i personally think sport people are more important than politician. what make matters worst is that truth was never fully revealed. but people are willing to accept that.

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-06-01 15:41

      The level of corruption between Hansie and the government are incomparible. We are talking about perhaps a couple hundred thousand versus the billions the government steal. The government has a far greater influence on our lives than Hansie ever did. So yes, the governments crimes are far greater than Hansies

  • paul.ramncwana - 2012-06-01 09:19

    A good man that made a mistake. RIP Captain!!!!!

  • Trav - 2012-06-01 09:21

    I believe that Hansie made two mistakes: The first was accepting the bribe. And the second was owning up to it. And the second one was mostly because of pressure from Pastor Ray who wanted some time in the lime-light for himself. We all make mistakes, hence I believe it's time for everyone to forgive and forget. Articles like these are just written to attract 'clicks'.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 10:15

      His biggest mistake was getting involved with bouncer Pastor Ray.

  • Sharon - 2012-06-01 09:22

    At least he owned up to his mistakes and took the punishment! Not like the govermnent officials who have their hands in the till each and every day and when caught claim innocence and when convicted are given big fat pensions!!

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 09:45

      No he didn't. He never took responsibility. He claimed the "The Devil made me do it" as an excuse for his lack of morals and love of money.

  • Assis - 2012-06-01 09:22

    Putting him on a pedestal was wrong, but despite the shortcoming he was a great cricketer and captain. Even the bookmakers loved him !

  • tinaanddanie - 2012-06-01 09:24

    Yet to meet the person who don't make mistakes. One of our best sportsmen ever, so tragic his life was taken at such a young age. RIP Hansie, we'll never forget you!!

      Gunner - 2012-06-01 09:57

      Yes, we will never forget you... for being a greedy b**tard. Ted.burg summed it up very well...

  • Gunner - 2012-06-01 09:26

    Like many who commented on Williams , the same applies to Hansie,no one forced him to do it....he was just another greedy b**tard...and will always be remembered for it...

      tinaanddanie - 2012-06-01 09:39

      Your an idiot!!! Show your face you coward!!!

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 10:17

      tinaanddanie He is in your face and you don't like it. Maybe the devil is making him do it, hey?

  • david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-06-01 09:31

    Hansie will always be a legend of SA cricket. He royally screwed but who am I to judge. Can I honestly say I wouldn't succumb to the say temptations? Great player and captain, and I would rather remember him for his on-field heroics. RIP Hansie!!

      Chez - 2012-06-01 10:23

      @David. So well put. yes he made mistakes and deserved to be kicked out of cricket but it should be about the game and he was a great player - one of our best and that is what we should think about when his name is mentioned. How he could stop a run flow with perfect, accurate bowling. How he could rally the team, how he could play spin!!

  • morati.maropola - 2012-06-01 09:48

    No one is perfect. He is really our hero

  • Kevin - 2012-06-01 09:55

    a total hero...!!

      Randell Daniels - 2012-06-01 10:29

      kevin ek stem saam met jou. in kaapse taal. Die man was gevaarlik en bedruk op die krieket veld man. Oorle Hansie was kwai en hy was en is nog altyd een van my krieket heros.

  • Zipho - 2012-06-01 09:55

    I have forgiven him long time ago, he is still my hero. the fact that he was honest about his deal with the bookmakers speaks a lot about this great leader.

  • Hilton - 2012-06-01 09:56

    He was and will always be the "Low Life" cheeting thief of that era.. He stole,and cheeted from the very people that loved and respected him. I was one of them. Nice to hide behind that Christian rubbish.

      Staalburger - 2012-06-01 10:12

      Then your love was rather shallow Hilton. I wonder what your sins are. Beating your wife, defrauding the Receiver, adultery? Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody. May you be judged with the same vigor you are judging. From a Christian, and proud of it.

      marko.miladinovic.52 - 2012-06-01 16:45

      Hell Hilton get over it. If you can't go hang yourself or something.

  • Richard - 2012-06-01 09:56

    While one can and should never condone what Hansie did, I think his record as a player speaks for itself. It's time to put this sorry saga behind us and move on. It's only opening up old wounds again.

      Chris - 2012-06-01 12:51

      is that record to be trusted or was their trouser money involved .

  • MrThreeZeroFive - 2012-06-01 09:56

    He was 'the Men'

  • yasseen.ylj - 2012-06-01 10:02

    Never jugde 1 wrong after doing 99 right.we al do mistakes in life cos we r GOD we beleive he 4gives so who r we 2 jugde.hansie the hero.

      yasseen.ylj - 2012-06-01 17:54

      talk english if u knw my friend.

  • Staalburger - 2012-06-01 10:06

    He was one of the most respected sportsmen ever. He had an incredible record as captain. Although he accepted money, I don't think he ever threw a game. (If he did, it makes his record even more amazing). All people makes mistakes. ALL people. He will be my hero for ever. At least he admitted his mistake, unlike our revered president who a judge found to be in a corrupt relationship with Shaik. Hansie, you are a legend!

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-06-01 10:10

    to me the worst thing Hansie did was not getting involved in match fixing, taking money etc (although there is not much good to be said about that) but the fact the he as the Captain involved what I believe to be innocent young players in his corrupt business. Anyone who plays a team sport will know that when you are young and you play your first game in the new team you feel a bit lost and they make a fool of you etc and you are definitely vulnerable. So for a man known as a world renowned captain to approach such a newby with the offer to become involved in something wrong is downright terrible because the newby will feel extremely pressurized and if told by the Captain that he and others are doing it, it make it seems like not such a big thing and probably acceptable and something that you as a newby simply didn't know existed because you were not part of the team. Apart from this your place in the team depends on your relationship with the captain. So for that part I think Hansie made a real gangster of himself which definitely does not deserve to be revered.

      Dave - 2012-06-01 10:46

      Louis, what about the Aussies, Indians etc who admitted to taking $ for rigging performances on the field? You will not believe how many top notch cricketers even nowadays take cash from wealthy business people. And it's not all bribes, there are hundreds of ways to offer "gratitude" to a player you like. Had Hansie had the support of a non-corrupt system, then he might have followed in the footsteps of certian "previously-corrupt" Aussie cricket legends in getting a 2 year ban & then being allowed to ply his trade at the highest level again. Lesson learnt. But no, this is South Africa where a sportsman gets his life screwed thouroughly fkued up for taking a weekly wage of a premier leaugue footballer, whereas politicians, sports ministers et al get away with with far worse crimes...makes you think or NOT?

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-06-01 11:02

      @Dave- your point that theres a lot of corruption going on is very true and that everyone is not getting the same treatment is also true...thats why I say my main gripe is not about that but that he involved others. I personally dont carry grudges against him and if he did it all by himself I would most probably also say lets forget it...but the lesson to learn is don't lead others astray if you are going to do wrongs

  • Gwen - 2012-06-01 10:29

    Hansie is forgiven who are we to judge He was the greatest cricket captain SA ever had or will have R I P Akind man and did a lot for everyone and plenty of charity work

  • Gwen - 2012-06-01 10:31

    Hansie was forgiven 10 years ago, who are we to judge. He was a great, kind and generous man and the best cricket captain SA had or will ever have RIP.

  • Dave - 2012-06-01 10:38

    For all of you clowns hammering down on Hansie - please air your view on Shane Warne, Steve Waugh etc who were also forced to admit that they took bribes. They were certainly quickly forgiven & are LEGENDS of the game nowadays. Admitting to the deed is admitting, even if it is admitting by saying that the devil made him do it. Idiots.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-06-01 10:46

      This argument might look sensible but it is not- its like saying yes I admit I killed my wife but my neighbour did it too?! The old adage of two wrongs don't make a right is applicable...

      Dave - 2012-06-01 11:04

      Louis - your replies might look sensible but they are not - dont compare a sportsmans bribe with a daily SA occurance which goes largely unpunished (murder). Nobody said anything about 2 wrongs. I just played out the reality of modern day professional cricket. Hansie did what loads of other cricketers have done, and those from other countries who had been caught in the past got punished & moved on (except the Paki guys in London). Unfortunately there is ALOT more to the powers behind bribery in cricket & I for one am sure that Hansie only spoke of a very small part of it. Maybe he was even willing to talk about more details, as perhaps Bob Woomer might have been as well... It is easy to look at the surface & say Hansie was a greedy b#stard, he was bad, he was a liar etc. It is not all that easy to perhaps think about the fact that his part might have been a grain of sand on a dune. I am not saying that it was right what he did, but maybe the auhtorities could have acted without having to mess the rest of his life up, as was the case with the other legends of the game elsewhere. But then again, some of you only think on the surface, hence these comments...

  • Christian Hendrik John Herbst - 2012-06-01 10:58

    He was a great Hero!! And rol model!! We as South Africans should realize what reconciliation and forgiveness means, he who is totaly clean to throw the first stone?!

  • Anita Du Plessis - 2012-06-01 11:18

    Hansie was a hero and he will always be one. This should actually not be a question any more. The positive impact he had on South African cricket and the lasting contribution was immense. He brought a joy and excitement, a hope and a fearless accelerasion

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 11:35

      Positive impact. Never. He threw games that cost us a chance in the World cup. Our great captain Hansie threw a game against Zimbabwe, for gods sake, that cost us the chance. Great captain lost to Zimbabwe!!!!! Wonder how much he got paid for that?

  • landi.jaco - 2012-06-01 11:51

    You decide...

  • jean.rossouwsa - 2012-06-01 12:17


      marko.miladinovic.52 - 2012-06-01 16:35

      My hero too, under Hansie we had the best years in SA cricket. Still can't figute out witch games were fixed. Hansie took the fall and players like Hershal Gibbs and Nicky Boje got a slap on the wrist. Hansie I still think you were great!

  • jacques.joubert.swart - 2012-06-01 12:22

    Deleting comments again, ey? I don't get it- Zaatheist has had comments deleted where he bad mouths Hansie, mine where I defend him has been removed... what's up with this, editors?

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-06-01 15:44

      I don't understand why comments need to be deleted either. Freedom of Expression afterall. How many comments lose their context because of a trigger happy moderator?

  • Chris - 2012-06-01 12:49


  • iYesssss - 2012-06-01 13:34

    @ zaatheist. Sadly all of the things you mention do not exist are tools of deception created by you master, the deceiver, satan himself. Again - your comments give the impression that you are a young immature child with no manners and no life, that sits waiting to have a go at people that believe in something you don't. Now leave your daddy's computer alone and get a life.

  • iYesssss - 2012-06-01 13:35

    @ zaatheist. Sadly all of the things you mention do not exist are tools of deception created by you master, the deceiver, satan himself. Again - your comments give the impression that you are a young immature child with no manners and no life, that sits waiting to have a go at people that believe in something you don't. Now leave your daddy's computer alone and get a life.

  • michael.kleber.376 - 2012-06-01 16:12

    It just shows how decisions can affect your life case in point Hansie deciding to take that first bribe , where would he have been today if he had said no ? what it boils down to is consequences .

  • errol.sol1 - 2012-06-02 08:11

    Everyone makes mistakes, what Hansie did was wrong bt that does not mean we should forget what he has done for SA cricket. Lets just forgive, forget and try to remember the Hansie will all knew to be a hero. RIP Hansie we miss you

  • johan.steyn.714 - 2012-06-02 08:24

    Hansie is our hero that made a mistake. In the bible it says he who is without sin, must cast the first stone. Look at what he did for the game. It was more exciting to watch cricket in the 90s than now. RIP Hansie.

  • John - 2012-06-02 11:59

    Oh the utter hypocrisy of South Africans..... of course he was a great sportsman, no one can deny that. But yet we complain about corrupt politicians and officials taking bribes etc. yet we are so easy to forgive Hansie? Yes he did admit he was wrong, but if a politician admitted he was wrong I'm sure there wouldn't be as forgiving of him. Could someone please explain to me why South Africans are generally hypocritical about so many things?

  • eric.schollar - 2012-06-02 15:14

    Facts are facts. Cronje was a liar and a corrupt cheat. A disgrace to SA cricket.

  • Jco - 2012-06-02 21:49

    Hi guys, what had christianity to do with this? I see atheist, muslims, budhists, agnostics and so we can go on, do the same things! Let Hansie rest, how must his family feel reading this?

  • upumba - 2012-06-05 11:50

    To this day I maintain he was treated too cruelly, imagine if all he got was to be expelled from ever playing for SA - he would be so useful to Biff who can only dream of having a win/loss ratio like that. Just a thought

  • hfinnibos - 2012-06-05 12:14

    Hansie was a gentleman. He will always be the one standout thing in cricket for me. Yes he made a mistake and eventually came out and admitted it. The interesting thing is taht he never through a match! That in teh end led to his demise. At the time he was the only guy world wide who was blamed for match fixing . . . the Waugh brothers who did the same as Hansie walked away . . .and so did Windies, Pakis, Indies and what not! If Hansie alone was responsible he was indeed VERY very good. But like today discipline is dealt with differently in different countries and typically more harshly in SA. Let Hansie rest in peace, he was a great captain and a great cricketer. Hansie was my Hero! RIP

  • Provence - 2012-06-05 12:28

    Does it really matter. Hero's and villains are creations of our own minds. We have all been a villain and a hero at some time in our life and will probably take on those titles a few more times before we too pass on. So, please tell us, are you superhuman which makes you a hero or are you like all the rest of us villains?

  • dawiej - 2012-06-05 12:47

    No-one ould have been the wiser if he did not say anything. He wasnt caught , he came out on his own an spilled the beans on what was going on. Yes he took money, but if he didnt, what roof ould he have ha when he spilled the beans. Even so, his record is still the best any SA captain has had. We South Africans just love crucifying our own to impress others. Hansie was my hero, and will always be. Period

  • 5port - 2012-06-05 12:50

    Still one of my Heroes....

  • frangelico.paizes - 2013-01-20 17:48

    adrien.I too say forgive ,but Hansie did not steal & lie indefinitely,Selebi,Cele,Malema,in fact almost our entire cabinet are thieves,even though we as tax payers know about it,they continue on their merry way.So no I can't forgive the latter.Hansie was a big drawcard in his day,he ered yes,but so did most cricketers,Steve Waugh admitted as much.Hansie was the fall guy.I refuse to speak ill of the dead,as they can't defend themselves.

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