Former Springbok passes away

2011-09-01 18:54
Hannes Botha (File)

Johannesburg - A former Springbok loose-forward, Hannes Botha, died in the Western Cape on Tuesday, August 30, at the age of 74.

Johannes Petrus Frederick Botha was born in Potgietersrus on May 11, 1937 and was educated at Wonderboom High, Pretoria.

As a military man, Botha was always superbly fit and after representing the then Northern Transvaal (now Blue Bulls), he was selected as a reserve flank for the tour of the British Isles and France in 1960-61.

With Hugo van Zyl and Martin Pelser, the preferred Test flank pairing, along with Frik du Preez, he was unable to break into the Test team and altogether on the long tour he played only seven matches, two at eighthman, when he relieved the injured Western Province loose-forward Doug Hopwood.

When Pelser moved to the professional ranks after the 1961 Australian tour of South Africa, Botha, who was then playing for the then Orange Free State (now Free State Cheetahs), was brought into the series against the touring Lions for the second Test at King’s Park, Durban in 1962, partnered by Louis Schmidt, his former Northern Transvaal partner, who had been recalled after four years.

He kept his place until the end of the series and South Africa, with flyhalf Keith Oxlee in top form, won all three Tests in which he played, with Botha being one of the outstanding performers for the Springboks.

Botha played nine matches for Northern Transvaal and 16 times for Orange Free State.

He ended his military career with the rank of Brigadier and was the aide de camp to the State President.

Botha leaves his wife Adriana and five children - Hannes, Frederick, Petrus, Christo and Adriana.

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