Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Editorial – Come on, Hansie, let’s bat for the children of South Africa

Dear Hansie Cronje

I am sorry to hear that your appeal to the high court to have the life ban on your plying your trade in South Africa was unsuccessful. The law must be respected, and given the severity of your crimes, it would be difficult to disagree with the ruling.

But ours is a forgiving nation, especially if wrongdoers show remorse.

Many don’t believe that you have shown genuine remorse for your actions. But we aren’t the ones who should play the role of judge and jury.

You must know that millions of South Africans – including schoolchildren and youth – and people around the globe worshipped you because of your exploits since South Africa’s readmission into the international cricket fold.

The court has ruled against you, but it can be argued that the nation is slowly beginning to accept and forgive your dishonesty as captain of the national team.

According to the Bible, Jesus chastised his disciples, who wanted to punish a prostitute, with the admonition: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”. Hansie, you sold your soul for money and betrayed the country. But let any person without sin cast the first stone at you, a man who went from hero to zero.

Hansie, it is conceivable that there is still a place in the fans’ hearts for you. During the recent court bid to overturn the United Cricket Board’s ban, it emerged that you want to secure the right to earn a living and put something back into the game. I understand the UCB isn’t entirely opposed to your writing a column, nor can the board prevent you from being involved at some level in the game – particularly at schools.

Perhaps it is time to put right the wrongs you have done, and start the healing process by putting your money where your mouth is. You claim that you want to play a positive role in promoting “clean” cricket in the country and helping to develop cricket in disadvantaged communities.

If that is so, then consider this invitation to team up with the Teacher to promote the sport at schools throughout the country. I would imagine there would be no better act of service if you chose to write articles advising children on the techniques of the game.

Furthermore, you could get involved in organising clinics in disadvantaged communities. It is obvious that high-profile local and foreign players play in the townships in order to gain media attention. Children at poor schools throughout the country don’t enjoy the facilities and equipment that cricket academies offer.

I believe that your international experience, understanding of the game and apparent willingness to want to right your wrongs should be tapped in a positive manner. This newspaper has a circulation of 108 000 copies. It is distributed free of charge to every public and private school in the country, has a growing subscriber base and is on sale nationwide.

If you really want to play a role in developing the future generation of South African cricketers and prove that fallen heroes can resurrect their tarnished reputations, then you should consider batting with the Teacher.

The newspaper would like to play a part in your rehabilitation by positively harnessing your talents for the future of the game in this country. Our publication will not offer you hundreds of thousands of rands, like one pay television station reportedly did when you shared your story with them.

Instead, we extend a hand of friendship and the opportunity to prove that you really care about the children and youth of South Africa.


Edwin Naidu

– The Teacher/M&G Media, Johannesburg, November 2001.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Edwin Naidu
Guest Author

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…