Below is an excerpt from his brother Frans Cronje, interview with Telegraph for full interview visit telegraph
Hansie immediately resigned as captain, declaring that he would never play again. He and the family assumed that the whole process would be swift, and over in a fortnight. Instead, the King Commission inquiry dragged on for months, and Cronje received a life ban from being involved in cricket in any capacity by the South African board. The fabric of Hansie’s life was shattered.
For six to nine months after the King Commission he didn’t really leave his house,” Frans recalls. “The only thing that he did was look at the news or read the papers. And the papers were very critical of him so his view was, ‘I’m an a—–e now and everybody hates me’.”
Hansie gained considerable weight and suffered from “serious” depression. “He just couldn’t forgive himself. He didn’t have a gripe with anybody except himself. He knew he had a big responsibility and he knew what a role model he was. And he also genuinely loved God. He wanted to live right in the sight of God.
Two weeks before Hansie was killed, Frans saw him for the last time.
Hansie had recently got a job working in insurance for a truck company and had just done his first deal. Over dinner in a restaurant, Frans found that Hansie had shed his self-loathing, and the extra pounds, too.
For the first time, he actually walked with a smile into the restaurant, not shy. He always had confidence and so he looked like he’d got his confidence back.”
This is how Frans remembers his brother. “He was ready to rebuild his life,” he says. “It was like – boom you just get out of it. At least I knew he was in a good space before he passed away.
Frans tells a story of playing a game of mini-golf with Hansie, their sister and their partners. The game was meant to be social fun – only, in the Cronje household, sport could never simply be fun. “My wife was so cross that she didn’t talk to me for two weeks because we took it seriously. That’s how much he hated losing. He couldn’t even lose playing mini-golf.
“If anyone ever tells you that he threw a match for money, that’s absolute rubbish – I still believe that to this day. It’s my opinion, there could be different opinions.