Famous South African Sportspersons

Vote for Your Favourite South African Sportspersons

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

 1 
Caster Semenya
(South African Middle-Distance Runner and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Caster Semenya
14
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pietersburg, South Africa

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.

 2 
Hashim Amla
(South African Former Cricketer)
Hashim Amla
12
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.

 3 
Jacques Kallis
(South African Cricket Coach and Former Cricketer)
Jacques Kallis
14
Birthdate: October 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

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.

 4 
Dale Steyn
(South African Former Professional Cricketer Who Played for the South African Cricket Team)
Dale Steyn
13
Birthdate: June 27, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Phalaborwa, Transvaal Province, South Africa

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.

Recommended Lists:
 5 
Ernie Els
(South African Professional Golfer)
Ernie Els
4
Birthdate: October 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

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.

 6 
Wayde van Niekerk
(South African Track and Field Sprinter Who Competes in the 200 and 400 Metres)
Wayde van Niekerk
7
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.

Recommended Lists:
 7 
AB de Villiers
(Former South African International Cricketer)
AB de Villiers
15
Birthdate: February 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warmbad, Transvaal Province, 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.

 8 
Chad le Clos
(Swimmer)
Chad le Clos
4
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.

Recommended Lists:
 9 
Francois Pienaar
(South African Retired Rugby Union Player)
Francois Pienaar
4
Birthdate: January 2, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vereeniging, South Africa

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.

 10 
Shaun Pollock
(South African Cricket Commentator and Former Cricketer)
Shaun Pollock
5
Birthdate: July 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, South Africa

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.

Recommended Lists:
 11 
Jody Scheckter
(South African racing driver)
Jody Scheckter
5
Birthdate: January 29, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East London, South Africa

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.

 12 
Joost van der Westhuizen
(South African Professional Rugby Union Player)
Joost van der Westhuizen
8
Birthdate: February 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
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.

Recommended Lists:
 13 
Kevin Anderson
(South African Former Professional Tennis Player)
Kevin Anderson
11
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).

 14 
Allan Donald
(South African Former Cricketer)
Allan Donald
6
Birthdate: October 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa

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.

 15 
Faf du Plessis
(South African Professional Cricketer)
Faf du Plessis
12
Birthdate: July 13, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa

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.

 16 
Ian Chappell
(Australian and South African Former Cricketer)
Ian Chappell
5
Birthdate: September 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Unley, Australia
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 17 
Hansie Cronje
(South African Cricketer Who was Banned from Cricket for His Role in Match-Fixing Scandal)
Hansie Cronje
8
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.

 18 
Louis Oosthuizen
(South African Professional Golfer)
Louis Oosthuizen
5
Birthdate: October 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mossel Bay, South Africa

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.

 19 
Graeme Smith
(South African Cricket Commentator and Former Cricketer)
Graeme Smith
5
Birthdate: February 1, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

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.

 20 
Kagiso Rabada
(South African International Cricketer Who Has Taken Hat-Trick In All Three Formats of Cricket)
Kagiso Rabada
6
Birthdate: February 17, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

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.

 21 
Jonty Rhodes
(Former South African Cricketer)
Jonty Rhodes
7
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.

 22 
Justin Gabriel
(Professional wrestler)
Justin Gabriel
5
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.

 23 
Victor Matfield
(South African Former Professional Rugby Union Player)
Victor Matfield
4
Birthdate: May 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pietersburg, South Africa

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.

 24 
Bryan Habana
(South African Former Professional Rugby Union Player Who Played as an Outside Centre)
Bryan Habana
0
Birthdate: June 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 25 
Graeme Pollock
(South African Former Cricketer)
Graeme Pollock
4
Birthdate: February 27, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

A powerful batsman, South African cricketer Graeme Pollock was likened to Garry Sobers by legendary cricketer Donald Bradman. Known for his precision of timing as a batsman, he also bowled legspin at times. Born to a cricketer father, he is also the uncle of popular cricketer Shaun Pollock.

 26 
Gary Player
(One of the Greatest Golfers of All Time)
Gary Player
4
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.
 27 
Adam Rose
(Wrestler)
Adam Rose
6
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.

 28 
Herschelle Gibbs
(South African Cricket Coach and Former Cricketer)
Herschelle Gibbs
4
Birthdate: February 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

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.

 29 
Corrie Sanders
(South African Professional Boxer)
Corrie Sanders
6
Birthdate: January 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brits, South Africa
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.

 30 
Gary Kirsten
(South African Cricket Coach and Former Cricketer)
Gary Kirsten
5
Birthdate: November 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa

South African former cricketer Gary Kirsten was known for his composure on the field. As the coach of the Indian national cricket team later, he led the team to their historic 2011 Cricket World Cup win, one that came after 28 years. He has also coached the South African team.

 31 
Mark Boucher
(South African Cricket Coach and Former Cricketer)
Mark Boucher
7
Birthdate: December 3, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

One of the finest wicket-keeper batsmen of all time, South African cricketer Mark Boucher has also supported Graeme Smith as South Africa’s vice-captain. In 2012, while playing a practice game in England, he was hit in the eye by a ball and was operated upon. He quit cricket the next day.

 32 
Zola Budd
(Former South African Middle-Distance and Long-Distance Runner)
Zola Budd
0
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa

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.

 33 
Bakkies Botha
(South African Former Professional Rugby Union Player Who Played as a Lock)
Bakkies Botha
2
Birthdate: September 22, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newcastle, South Africa
Bakkies Botha, the former professional rugby union player, ​played as a lock for Springboks until 2014. Regularly listed in 'greatest ever' sides, Botha was nominated for SA player of the year in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He is also the only player in the history of rugby union to have won a hat-trick of Super Rugby and European rugby titles.
 34 
Francois Botha
(South African Former Professional Boxer and Kickboxer)
Francois Botha
5
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Witbank, South Africa

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.

 35 
Natalie du Toit
(Swimmer)
Natalie du Toit
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cape Town

While she began her career as an international swimmer at 14, Natalie du Toit had her left leg amputated after a scooter accident. However, that didn’t deter her spirit, and she was the only disabled swimmer to compete at the Beijing Olympics. She has also won 13 Paralympic gold medals.

 36 
Siphiwe Tshabalala
(South African Professional Football Player Who Played as a Midfielder)
Siphiwe Tshabalala
5
Birthdate: September 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Soweto, South Africa

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.

 37 
Joel Stransky
(South African Former Rugby Union Player)
Joel Stransky
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

South African rugby legend Joel Stransky is best known for scoring all points, including the famous drop goal, in the nail-biting 1995 Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand that he led his country to win. He has also worked with the marketing departments of Altech Netstar and the Steinhoff Group.

 38 
Morné Morkel
(South African Former Cricketer)
Morné Morkel
7
Birthdate: October 6, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vereeniging, Transvaal, South Africa

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.

 39 
Benni McCarthy
(South African Coach and Former Football Player Who Played as a Forward)
Benni McCarthy
5
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.

 40 
Brad Binder
(South African Motorcycle Racer)
Brad Binder
0
Birthdate: August 11, 1995
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potchefstroom, South Africa
 41 
Imran Tahir
(South African Former International Cricketer)
Imran Tahir
7
Birthdate: March 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan

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.

 42 
Quinton Fortune
(South African Professional Football Coach and Former Player)
Quinton Fortune
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

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.

 43 
JP Duminy
(South African Cricket Commentator and Former International Cricketer)
JP Duminy
6
Birthdate: April 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Strandfontein, Cape Town, South Africa

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.

 44 
Ilana Kloss
(Former South African Professional Tennis Player)
Ilana Kloss
10
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. 

 45 
Mickey Arthur
(South African-Australian Cricket Coach, Commentator and Former Cricketer)
Mickey Arthur
7
Birthdate: May 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

South African-Australian former cricketer Mickey Arthur played for Free State, Griqualand West, and South Africa A before starting his coaching career with Griqualand West. He has coached the Pakistani, Australian, and South African national teams and now serves as the head coach of the Sri Lankan national team.

 46 
Steven Pienaar
(South African Former Professional Footballer)
Steven Pienaar
5
Birthdate: March 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

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.

 47 
Temba Bavuma
(South African International Cricketer)
Temba Bavuma
11
Birthdate: May 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Langa, Cape Town, South Africa

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.

 48 
Schalk Burger
(South African Former Professional Rugby Union Player)
Schalk Burger
4
Birthdate: April 13, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Schalk Burger was born to an international rugby player, also named Schalk Burger. As part of the South African national rugby team, he won the 2007 Rugby World Cup and was declared the South African Rugby Player of the Year twice. He also works at his Western Cape wine estate.

 49 
Chester Williams
(South African Rugby Union Player Who Played as a Winger)
Chester Williams
0
Birthdate: August 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paarl, South Africa
Died: September 6, 2019
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 50 
Rory Sabbatini
(South African-Slovak Professional Golfer Who One Six Times on the PGA Tour Between 2000 and 2011)
Rory Sabbatini
5
Birthdate: April 2, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa

Rory Sabbatini is a South African-Slovak golfer who won a silver medal for Slovakia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He has also represented South Africa in several World Cups. Between 2000 and 2011, Sabbatini had six PGA Tour wins under his belt.