CapeTalk Celebrating 20 years
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2002: Bruce Hong and Annika Larsen remember Hansie Cronje

This October, CapeTalk is celebrating its 20th birthday by reliving some of the most impactful stories of the past twenty years, as told by some of our favourite personalities.

It doesn't change who I was ... And who I will be in the future.

Hansie Cronje, 31 May 2002.

On 31 May 2002, Hansie Cronje joined CapeTalk's John Maytham for what would be his final interview.

Hours later, he would take the flight to George that would claim his life.

Listen to that interview below.

This morning, Kieno Kammies was joined by CapeTalk producer Bruce Hong and eNCA's Annika Larsen, who covered the King Commission in 2000 and Cronje's death in 2002 for CapeTalk.

Hong recalls the excitement of securing Cronje for an interview, which would have been the disgraced captain's first in a very long time.

Do we now forgive him? Has enough time passed by? Because we all felt betrayed.

Bruce Hong, CapeTalk producer

Larsen recalled her time covering the King Commission in 2000.

Hansie Cronje testifies at the King Commission in 2000.

This man was seen as close akin to the devil. He had ruined South Africa. He had ruined cricket.

Annika Larsen

He was this crumpled, broken man. He seemed destroyed.

Annika Larsen

Two years later, Larsen reflected, Cronje finally seemed to be recovering. However, she noted, Cronje still referred to the match-fixing incident as "a mistake".

On the morning of 1 June 2002, the news of the plane crash in the Outeniqua Mountains broke, and Larsen found herself on the way to George. There were no survivors of the crash, which was later blamed on a chain of events that included pilot error, faulty equipment and inclement weather.

She recalled being present as the bodies were finally brought down from the mountains. The planed had broken into three pieces, and a paramedic revealed that Cronje was found still strapped into his seat.

One of the paramedics said his hands were still covering his face.

Annika Larsen

Many felt that this plane crash was this divine redemption. For me it was just this very sad ending to this horrible, tragic story.

Annika Larsen

Watch as Bruce Hong reflects on the Hansie Cronje story.


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