Boks shocked at Joost illness

2011-05-16 07:42

Marlene Malan - Rapport
Cape Town - It’s a shock and a wake-up call.
That is the words of Naas Botha, former Springbok and current rugby commentator about the news that Joost van der Westhuizen has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

GALLERY: Joost van der Westhuizen through the years
Botha, who is currently participating in the SuperSport Shootout in Knysna, says that “Joost van der Westhuizen” was the big talking point on everyone’s lips on Saturday.
“It’s shocking news. Everyone’s despondent and sad. Were all asking questions, because we don’t even know exactly what it means to have this disease. It’s still sinking in. But it’s all we're talking about.”
Botha says that everyone (at the SuperSport shootout) agrees that “people are so intertwined in their own humanness that a wake-up call like this rocks you to your core.
Joost van der Westhuizen was one of the greats of South African rugby. To be interred in the International Rugby Hall of Fame, is an acknowledgement for his tremendous quality as a rugby player.
“To now be suffering from a disease like this is very bad.
“It just shows that illness does not choose age. Illness is also not something we could choose. We’re all just human.
Botha says South Africa’s rugby role-players will “for sure” be present in Van der Westhuizen’s life in future.
“As soon as we know more facts, we will lend our help and support.”
Francois Pienaar, the Spingboks’ 1995 World Cup winning captain, told Rapport through an SMS that he has already talked to Van der Westhuizen, but wants to keep their conversation private. “My heart goes out to Joost and his family. I fully support him during this time.”
Rudolph Straeuli, another member of the 1995 World Cup winning group and former Springbok coach, says Joost is a rugby legend in South Africa.
“We are all very shocked at this news. But, he is a man who won’t lie down easily. That’s what he’s always being known for – a big fighter. We will stand by him and help him through the fight and pain.
“I don’t know what his prospects are, but he is sure to receive help from all of us.”


  • Jacques Claasens - 2011-05-16 08:23

    We are all human, and to those who judge him, especially in this time, SHAME ON YOU! Have you never made mistakes? He is a legend and he has he's fault's, but more importantly, he needs our support in a time of crisis. It's time yo forgive and show him that we will always be there...

  • Bobinator - 2011-05-16 08:26

    I don't believe that Joost's disease is any kind of 'divine' punishment, and there is nothing funny about any person suffering from this. I wish him the best. As to whether he lies down easily.... well...

  • Ingie - 2011-05-16 08:36

    Please why does every one in glass houses throw stones. I am in the medical field and this is a very terrible and sad disease. There is NO CURE. So with all your negative answers etc please shut up. He is and wont be the 1st person to do what he did and remember God does forgive no matter what. This is not brought on by God it just happens. My prayers are with him and just for your info it hits men more than women.

      Lloyd - 2011-05-16 19:04

      Candy striper.....

  • HueyPNewton - 2011-05-16 09:29

    "Were all asking questions". "That’s what he’s always being known for". I'm waiting for our racist white posters to call this Affirmative Journalism.

  • think - 2011-05-16 09:46

    No need to look for reasons why,there are none, Illness like this always has and always will be this way.

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-16 10:43

    Why does every frikkin Joost comment page end up in a theology lesson/debate.

  • Cliff - 2011-05-16 11:05

    Very sad for Joost and his family. God bless them all.

  • Karo - 2011-05-16 11:08

    Reading through the comments below just make me shake my head. No 'man' is perfect and no 'man' has the right to judge. We will all face our Maker (whoever 'he' might be) one day - then we will have to answer for our own sins, not the sins of others. Lets keep the judgment, racism and ugliness out of it - you should be ashamed of yourselves. Here is a fellow human being who has a horrible disease and death waiting for him. Can we not find compassion in ourselves for him and those that love him? Who knows, one day the shoe might be on your foot!!!

      flowing river - 2011-05-16 11:17

      Go to Oprah!

  • Rumbler - 2011-05-16 11:09

    The tackles that Joost made on Jonah Lomu in the 1995 World Cup will live in my memory bank of best memories to my dying day. Joost, you made some mistakes in life, same as the rest of us to a larger or lesser extent, but you remain one of our favourite rugby heroes.

  • flowing river - 2011-05-16 11:25

    Methinks this is a publicity stint and he is going to make a miraculous recovery/comeback and play for the CHEETAHS..................!

      Pierre - 2011-05-16 11:35

      you are a wise and informed man

  • Raka13 - 2011-05-16 11:33

    Joost you are not my favourite icon, (although you were a brilliant rugby player) but good luck Joost, hope you recover from this terrible disease. To all the judges on this blog.....go F#CK yourselves. Whatever Joost did in his private life has got nothing to do with any of us.

  • garthw60 - 2011-05-16 12:54

    A legend indeed!! Joost stay strong!! I have a prayer for you!!

  • Viv - 2011-05-16 13:49

    Wow - how people change their tunes! When the scandaal broke of Joost and his drugs and strippers everyone was ready to linch the oke and throw him to the wolves but now that he has been diagnosed with MND everyone is defending him and fighting his corner. How many of these people below wrote Joost off last year and are now defending him? I am not trying to pick a fight here with anyone it is just a simple obeservation. I wish Joost and his family all the best with fighting the disease. No-one deserves to die of a disabilitating disease like this - no matter what you have done in your life. May the Van der Westhuizen's find the strength to get through this whatever happens.

  • engela.vanstaden - 2011-05-16 14:44

    Good luck Joost, life is but a gift and yours have brought victorius and proud to be South African moments to many - we wish you all the best and pray for a cure.

  • Joris - 2011-05-16 19:26

    Sad, very sad.

  • Bridget - 2011-05-17 09:01

    Joost, wish you all the best. you are a fighter, you will fight this and with God by your side you will feel better. we will definately stand by you. God will protect you throgh this journey.

  • smahlaba - 2011-05-17 10:48

    We all wish Joost and his family all the best in his fight with this desease.

  • Denbigh - 2011-05-17 12:56

    all the best joost dont stop fighting you were and still are a legend in our eyes will be praying for you

  • SALioness - 2011-05-19 17:31

    I have lost 2 family members last year, within 2 months from cancer. Trust me, I know what it means to lose a family member, no matter what age. But nevertheless, there is still hope for cancer patients because there is still the possibility of a cure and a person can keep their dignity. My heart goes out to Joost and his family, because an incurable disease like this, does not give one much hope except for a miracle. One can only ask for mercy and strength. Be strong Joost. You are going to need it.

  • Kevin - 2011-05-19 19:34

    While one feels sorry for Joost, I can't help but wonder if his use of drugs, esp cocaine, has played a role.  There is medical evidence to support this internationally.  If so, what a great opportunity for Joost to warn the youth of the dangers of drug abuse!  I hope he will have the courage to rise to the challenge

  • retired surf - 2011-05-23 12:13

    BAD NEWS FOR JOOST And his family!!!!!!!!!!!! In 2009 I was diagnosed with MSA(simular to ALS but not as life threatening) I have3 been told there is no cure for my illness and will gradually deteriorate( lifespan 10-15yrs) The fact is you have been given a death sentence and that is the mentall attack one has to come to terms with.I have been surfing the websites for alternative medication and hope that Joost or someone that can get a message to him will read this and give him the necessary website particulars. It is, who has been doing intense studies on ALS. Joost I hope you get this message and look into it. You have nothing to loose!

  • Patty - 2011-05-28 20:14

    Joost, We wish you the very best. You are a legend. Be strong as ou fight the hardest fight of your life. Paul & Patty Beitbridge Zimbabwe

  • Kevin - 2012-03-01 22:07

    joost,god has a plan for you,you entertained the world with your ability,and therefor you are destined for a higher calling,trust and obey for there is no other way, but to trust and obey,for me to live is christ and to die is gain,god so loved the world he gave his only forgotten son for who soever should perish will have everlasting life

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