Famous South African Sportspersons

Find out more about the greatest South African Sportspersons, including Oscar Pistorius, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Corrie Sanders and Justin Gabriel.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite South African Sportspersons

 1 AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers.
13
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: February 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bela-Bela, South Africa

AB de Villiers, also known as “Mr. 360” and “Superman,” has captained the South African cricket team in Tests, ODIs, and T20s. Named the ICC ODI Player of the Year thrice, the Wisden "cricketer of the decade" is a devout Christian, has written an autobiography, and released a pop album.

 2 Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius.
15
Famous As: Runner
Birthdate: November 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sandton, South Africa

From being an infant whose both legs were amputated below knee, Oscar Pistorius went on to become a top athlete with wins in Paralympic Games and other sporting events. The South African sprinter also became the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympics Games. However, later, he was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend and is currently imprisoned.

 3 Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya.
8
Famous As: Olympic Athlete
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Polokwane, Limpopo, South African

Two-time Olympic gold medalist middle-distance runner Caster Semenya in an intersex woman, with high testosterone levels. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was asked to take medication to decrease her testosterone levels, to participate in the 2021 Olympics women’s events, and filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights.

 4 Gary Player

Gary Player.
5
Famous As: South African golfer
Birthdate: November 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
South African former golfer Gary Player became the only non-American to win the career Grand Slam, at 29. Named to the World Golf Hall of Fame, he has earned more than 160 professional tournaments. He has also written golf books, designed golf courses, and launched The Player Foundation.
Recommended Lists:

 5 Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla.
7
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: March 31, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

One of the best ODI bastmen in the world, South African cricketer Hashim Amla has made many records, from being the fastest to reach 20 ODI centuries to being the fourth player to score centuries against all Test-playing nations. He was also the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2013.

 6 Ernie Els

Ernie Els.
3
Famous As: Professional Golfer
Birthdate: October 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Johannesburg

Ernie Els is a South African golfer renowned for his fluid golf swing and imposing physical stature, which has earned him the nickname, The Big Easy. A former World No. 1, Els has four major championships under his belt. Ernie Els is only one of six golfers to twice win the Open Championship as well as the U.S. Open.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen
8
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: June 27, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pietermaritzburg

Born to a South African father and an English mother, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen still holds the record for being the fastest to make 2,000 ODI runs. Named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, he was also nicknamed “shining” once, for his phenomenal contribution to the England team.

You May Like

 8 Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson
7
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: May 18, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Kevin Anderson is a South African tennis player who became the fifth-ranked player in the world in 2018. He is the first South African player to be ranked in the top five since 1985 when Kevin Curren was ranked fifth in the world. Anderson has reached two Grand Slam finals; US Open (2017) and Wimbledon (2018).

Recommended Lists:

 9 Chad le Clos

Chad le Clos
3
Famous As: Swimmer
Birthdate: April 12, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

Olympic gold medalist South African swimmer Chad le Clos, who plays for the club Energy Standard, also holds records in the 50- and 100-m butterfly categories in the Commonwealth Games. He is one of his nation’s most-decorated Olympians but failed to get a medal in the 2020 Olympics.

 10 Wayde van Niekerk

Wayde van Niekerk
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: July 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

Wayde van Niekerk is a South African athlete who competes as a sprinter in the 200 and 400 metres. He is the current Olympic and world record holder in the 400 metres. Wayde van Niekerk holds the world record in the 300 metres as well. He won the gold medal in the 400 metres event at the 2016 Olympic Games.

 11 Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis
5
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 13, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pretoria

Faf du Plessis is a South African cricketer who captained the national team in the ODI format from 2013 to 2019. He has also captained the national team in the other two formats of the game. He became the first South African player to score centuries in ODI, T20, and Test cricket after he scored his first T20I century in 2015.

 12 Kyle Edmund

Kyle Edmund
4
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: January 8, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Today an ace professional tennis player, Kyle Edmund was introduced to the game at the age of ten. He made his breakthrough on the junior circuit at sixteen and debuting at Davis Cup at twenty. A top ranked male British player in 2018-2019, having a career-high singles world ranking of 14, he is currently ranked at 104 because of chronic knee injury.

 13 Justin Gabriel

Justin Gabriel
3
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: March 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cape Town

Justin Gabriel is a South African wrestler best known for his achievements in WWE; he is a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion with Heath Slater. He also won two Slammy Awards during his time in WWE. In 2011, he was ranked 61st in the PWI 500 list.

 14 Adam Rose

Adam Rose
3
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: July 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Raymond John Leppan, better known by his ring name, Adam Rose, is a retired South African wrestler. He once described himself as the “life of the party” and has also represented NXT and WWE. He was also part of an E:60 documentary titled Behind the Curtain.

 15 Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir
5
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: March 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lahore

Imran Tahir is a professional cricketer who represents the South African national team. In 2016, he became the fastest South African bowler to reach 100 wickets in the ODI format. In 2018, he became only the fourth South African bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs. Tahir is currently South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in ODIs and T20Is among spin bowlers.

 16 Ilana Kloss

Ilana Kloss
6
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: March 22, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Former professional tennis player, Ilana Kloss is also a tennis coach, and commissioner of World TeamTennis, since 2001. She was the World's No. 1 ranked doubles player in 1976 and World No. 19 in singles in the year 1979. Born in Johannesburg, the Jewish player won the US Open doubles and mixed doubles championship on the 35-and-over tour, in 1999. 

 17 Allan Donald

Allan Donald
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: October 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bloemfontein

Allan Donald is a South African former cricket player best known for his fast-paced deliveries that earned him the nickname White Lightning. Regarded as one of South Africa's most successful fast bowlers, Donald was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019. After retiring from international cricket, Donald has focused on establishing himself as a coach.

 18 Hansie Cronje

Hansie Cronje.
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: September 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died: June 1, 2002

Hansie Cronje was a South African international cricketer. He captained the South African national cricket team in the 1990s. In 2000, he was implicated in a cricket match-fixing scandal and banned from the sport for life. He died in a plane crash in 2002. It was rumored that he was murdered on the orders of a cricket betting syndicate.

 19 Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada.
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: May 25, 1995
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Johannesburg, Gauteng

The first six-time CSA award winner, South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada also became the eighth Proteas bowler to take 200 Test wickets, beating the likes of Allan Donald. He has, however, often been seen breaking ICC rules on the field and was also in trouble once for shouldering Steven Smith.

 20 Benni McCarthy

Benni McCarthy
3
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

South African former footballer Benni McCarthy had played for a number of European clubs, such as Ajax Amsterdam, before moving on to the South African club Orlando Pirates. He also represented Bafana Bafana, the South African national team, in the 1998 World Cup and African Cup of Nations.

 21 Nick Price

Nick Price
3
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: January 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

Nick Price is a Zimbabwean golfer who was considered the best player in the world in the mid-1990s; he was ranked number one as per the Official World Golf Ranking. He has won three major championships including two PGA Championships. In 2003, Nick Price was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

 22 Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn
8
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: June 27, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Phalaborwa

The son of a mine worker, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is known for his mercurial on-field persona and for his swing and speed. He has many accolades to his credit, such as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year. He also topped the ICC Test rankings for 263 weeks.

 23 Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis
8
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: October 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pinelands, Cape Town

One of the best all-rounders the world has ever seen, South African cricketer Jacques Kallis was known for his signature cover drive throughout his career. He remains the only cricketer to score over 10,000 runs and take more than 250 wickets in both ODI and Test cricket.

 24 Francois Pienaar

Francois Pienaar
3
Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: January 2, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vereeniging

Francois Pienaar is a former rugby player who captained the South African national team from 1993 to 1996. He is best-known for helping his team win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. In 2004, he was ranked 50th in a list named Top 100 Great South Africans. In 2005, he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

 25 Joost van der Westhuizen

Joost van der Westhuizen
6
Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: February 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pretoria
Died: February 6, 2017

Joost van der Westhuizen was a South African rugby player. He took part in three Rugby World Cups, helping his national team win the 1995 World Cup. Widely regarded as the greatest scrumhalf in the history of the game, van der Westhuizen was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007.

 26 Jody Scheckter

Jody Scheckter
3
Famous As: South African racing driver
Birthdate: January 29, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East London

The only Formula One World Champion from Africa, Jody David Scheckter made his debut at the US Grand Prix in 1972, shortly after moving from South Africa to Britain. Two years later he registered his first win with the Swedish Grand Prix. His last win was at the 1979 Italian Grand Prix. In 1980, he retired from motor racing.

 27 Francois Botha

Francois Botha
3
Famous As: Boxer, Kickboxer
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Witbank

South African boxer, kickboxer, and mixed martial artist Francois Botha has been one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of his country. Nicknamed The White Buffalo, he has fought against the best fighters, such as Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, and registered legendary wins against Axel Schulz and Timo Hoffmann.

 28 Corrie Sanders

Corrie Sanders
4
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: January 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pretoria
Died: September 23, 2012

South African boxer Corrie Sanders, nicknamed The Sniper, was a heavyweight champion and was motivated to take up boxing by his uncle. He made headlines when he was shot in the stomach and killed in an armed robbery at a restaurant in Brits, while celebrating his nephew's 21st birthday.

 29 Siphiwe Tshabalala

Siphiwe Tshabalala
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: September 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Soweto

Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala is a promising South African footballer and was the first to make his international debut while playing for the National First Division. He had played for Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs before joining AmaZulu. The son of a taxi driver, he initially aspired to become a chartered accountant.

 30 JP Duminy

JP Duminy
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: April 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cape Town

JP Duminy is a South African former cricket player who served as the vice-captain of the national Twenty20 team. In 2008, he played a major role in helping his national team win their first Test series in Australia against Australia. After retiring from all formats of the game in 2019, JP Duminy started working as a cricket commentator.

 31 Morné Morkel

Morné Morkel
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: October 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vereeniging

South African-Australian cricketer Morné Morkel is one of the best fast bowlers of his time. He is the younger brother of cricketer Albie Morkel, and in 2008, he and Albie became the first brother duo to be named the South African Cricket Annual Cricketers of the Year in 56 years.

 32 Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen
4
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: October 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mossel Bay

Louis Oosthuizen is a South African golfer best known as the winner of the 2010 Open Championship which was held in Scotland. In addition to winning the 2010 Open Championship, Oosthuizen has also finished runner-up in the other three major championships. In 2013, he became the fourth-ranked golfer in the world according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

 33 Shaun Pollock

Shaun Pollock
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth

Born into a family of renowned cricketers, Shaun Pollock was the son of Peter Pollock and the nephew of Graeme Pollock. One of the best medium pace bowlers of South Africa, he was pushed into captaincy when Hansie Cronje got entangled in a match-fixing scandal in 2000.

 34 Quinton Fortune

Quinton Fortune
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 21, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cape Town

Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune was one of the rare South Africans to be part of the Premier League. He had started his football career with the Tottenham Hotspur at 14 and later also played for Atletico Madrid. He has also been associated with anti-domestic-violence campaigns.

 35 Makhaya Ntini

Makhaya Ntini
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: King William's Town

Makhaya Ntini became the first Xhosa player to be part of the South African national cricket team. Initially a cowherd in a tiny village in Cape Province, he bowled bare-foot and was scouted by a Boland Cricket Board officer. Though convicted of rape in 1999, he was acquitted later.

 36 Lance Klusener

Lance Klusener
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: September 4, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Durban

Popularly known as Zulu, South African former cricketer Lance Klusener was an all-rounder. He was named the Player of the Series in the 1999 World Cup. Taking up the role of coach later, he worked with the South African and Afghanistan national cricket teams, and was the Dolphins head coach.

 37 Jonty Rhodes

Jonty Rhodes
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: July 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pietermaritzberg, Natal, South Africa

A person who redefined fielding in cricket, by bringing it to the forefront, South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes first gained attention when he flung himself to run-out Pakistani cricketer Inzamam-Ul-Haq in a 1992 World Cup game. He worked with Standard Bank and then coached the national team post-retirement.

 38 Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: February 1, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Johannesburg

South African former cricketer Graeme Smith was once nicknamed Biff for often smashing the leather off the cricket balls. At 22, he was the youngest captain of his national cricket team. He was also known for his legendary opening partnerships with Herschelle Gibbs. Post-retirement, he works as a commentator.

 39 Steven Pienaar

Steven Pienaar
4
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: March 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Johannesburg

Steven Pienaar is a South African former football player who served as the captain of the South African national team. He represented his national team in a couple of World Cups, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup which was hosted by South Africa. He is currently serving as an assistant coach for the Ajax Youth Academy's U-18 team.

 40 Lucas Radebe

Lucas Radebe
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: April 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Soweto

A former star footballer of the South African national team, Lucas Radebe had begun his career with the Kaizer Chiefs. He later also led the English club Leeds United. Nicknamed the Chief and Rhoo, he has also been associated with charitable initiatives against racism and for the development of children.

 41 Vernon Philander

Vernon Philander
4
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: June 24, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bellville

Vernon Philander is a former South African cricket player best known for his skills as a bowler. He has also played important knocks as a batsman, helping his team get out of difficult situations on several occasions. During his Test career, he played 64 tests and took 224 wickets.

 42 Zola Budd

Zola Budd
3
Famous As: Middle-distance runner, Marathon runner
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloemfontein

Zola Budd is a South African former athlete who used to compete in long-distance and middle-distance running. Budd represented Great Britain at the 1984 Olympic Games before representing South Africa at the 1992 Olympic Games. Zola Budd also took part in the 1985 and 1986 World Cross Country Championships, winning gold medals on both occasions.

 43 Bobby Locke

Bobby Locke
5
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: November 20, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Germiston
Died: March 9, 1987

South African golfer Bobby Locke had many wins in his kitty, including 15 PGA Tour events and four Open Championships. After winning his first tournament at 14, he served in the air force during World War II. He also penned the book Bobby Locke on Golf.

 44 Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield
3
Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: May 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Polokwane

Victor Matfield is a South African former rugby union player who captained the national team as well as the Blue Bulls. Widely regarded as one of the greatest locks in the history of South African rugby, Matfield was extremely successful at disrupting opposition line-outs, a skill that helped his team win the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

 45 Kepler Wessels

Kepler Wessels
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: September 14, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bloemfontein

Kepler Wessels is a South African-Australian former cricket player who has represented South Africa as well as Australia in international cricket. He has also captained the South African national team. Wessels has also played an influential role as a coach, working with popular teams like Chennai Super Kings of the Indian Premier League. 

 46 Temba Bavuma

Temba Bavuma
6
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Cape Town

Temba Bavuma is the current captain of the South African ODI and T20 national teams and a talented right-handed batsman. Initially mentored by Geoffrey Toyana, he was signed up by the Lions. He is the second from his country to score an ODI debut century.

 47 Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel
3
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: August 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Johannesburg

Charl Schwartzel is a South African golfer who won the 2011 Masters Tournament after birdying the final four holes to win his maiden major championship. The following year, he became the sixth-ranked golfer, his highest world ranking so far. Charl Schwartzel has had several professional wins, including 11 European Tour wins, nine Sunshine Tour wins, and two PGA Tour wins.

 48 Albie Morkel

Albie Morkel
3
Famous As: Cricketer
Birthdate: June 10, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vereeniging

A talented South African all-rounder, Albie Morkel was often likened to Lance Klusener. Born to a cricketer father, it came as no surprise when he chose the game as a career option. However, he never had much of international success and now coaches the Namibian national cricket team.

 49 Herschelle Gibbs

Herschelle Gibbs
3
Famous As: Rugby union player, Cricketer, Association football player
Birthdate: February 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Green Point, Cape Town

Herschelle Gibbs is a South African former cricketer who became the first player to hit six consecutive sixes in one over in One Day International cricket. Apart from his batting exploits, Gibbs was also known for his superlative fielding. After retiring from the game, he is into the coaching now.

 50 Damian de Allende

Damian de Allende
3
Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: November 25, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cape Town

Apart from the South African team, rugby player Damian de Allende also plays for the United Rugby team Munster. Part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning team, he made more runs than any other Springbok player in the tournament. He was also signed by the Panasonic Wild Knights.