The 20 most loathsome South Africans: Number 18: Pieter van Zyl (fat ref tackler)

What an ambassador to South Africa. Heck, to rugby in general ("Fans like me is what rugby is about... I'm not sorry that I did what I did”). He eternalized the stereotypical South African male to millions watching that fateful game of what was reportedly rugby. Till he shoved his disgusting weight around, the ugly, beergutted, hate-filled piece of Apartheid excrement masquerading in a Springbok jersey was nothing more than an abstract notion to those spectators.

Not that anybody should care what any rugby aficionado thinks, but still: that disgusting hairy beer belly and intoxicated idiotic eyes are now indelibly etched into the minds of even rugby-loathing foreigners who just innocently watched the news or read the next day’s paper.

Far be it from Mr. van Zyl to publicly apologize to his fellow South Africans (I don’t care about the ref so much, he was shit). Instead, he subsequently sues SARFU for banishing him eternally from all rugby parks. He feels hard done by this decision, did not see it coming at all. Felt it was unfair.

But did you know this: Mr. van Zyl is not some poor simple manual labourer or even the shady manager of a cash-only liquor store in Boksburg, oh no, he is a successful businessman who has reportedly made considerable dough in the mining business.

He’s a multi-millionaire. In itself a compelling argument in favour of communism.

Mr. van Zyl spends his time gallivanting the rugby world to get kommen dronk, swear, and shake his fist redfacedly at the ref and players who can’t hear him or see him, even if they wanted to, which they certainly do not. This is his life, I shit you not, I did my homework. I can only speculate that upon return to his ostentatious bad-taste-oozing "eclectic" mansion he beats up his god-help-her wife, who soon relents and performs her womanly duty.

It’s been an unfortunate few decades for white South Africans: First apartheid, now this guy. He should be taken outside and shot, or worse, he should go sit in Madiba’s corner, with The Very Best of Celine Dion (1986 - 1989) playing all the while. For at least an hour. Nonstop.


sessa said...

HAHAHAH. I saw this game, he came out of nowhere! Nice picture of him btw. :P :P

b said...

the picture really does say it all. i seriously considered posting only the picture, the writeup seems almost redundant.

tinus said...

Nice surname.

Anonymous said...

A van Zyl once, rather lamentfully, told me that there were no well known, respectable or iconic van Zyls in the world for other van Zyls to look up to and be proud of. In no uncertain terms I think they have been proven wrong. Unite!

b said...

i rest my case anon.

le said...

As I was so fortunate to marry a van Zyl earlier this year, I knew there was a good reason to hold onto my maiden name.
Thanks B, my mind is finally made up now.
But before we totally discredit the van Zyl's, I have to stand up for their truly adventurous spirit somehow by mentioning the following below:
(I love the way they describe the poor old man
taking this incredible risk without knowing what is going to happen, I guess this was what Pieter van Zyl was thinking at the time.)

'In 1780 het ‘n boer genaamd Van Zyl langs die ingang van die grotte verbygestap en besluit om homself in die onbekende duisternis neer te laat sak, met ‘n brandende flits as sy enigste lig. Sonder dat hy kon sien wat onder hom aangaan, het hy ‘n groot risiko geneem, maar wat hy ontdek het, is ‘n grot, asemrowend en onbeskryflik!'
(Kango grotte, Oudtshoorn, South Africa)

I guess it's all about the choices you make no matter who you are.

liezl said...

New Zealand laughed about this for about a week. One of my friends has a husband called Pieter van Zyl, so somehow I don't think she found it all that funny. All in all, though, it didn't do SA's image much damage, for as everyone knows, Pieter exists in many incarnations in many countries.

What was probably more damaging (to SA's reputation) was Kamp Staaldraad, another form of institutionalised madness that we became so famous for when apartheid hit the headlines.

Interestingly, the protest against the Springbok tour of 1981 has gone down as The Watershed Moment in NZ history. It is often referred to as NZ's 'coming of age'. What happened is that a divide occurred between old-school NZ, those people who naively thought that politics and sport should be kept seperate, on the one hand, and what I call the 'liberal lesbians' on the other. The latter stood up in protest, fighting for the rights of the oppressed in much the same way they so bravely fought for women's rights a decade or so earlier. But it is not for their stance over women's rights that they have become famous. No, it is for their stance against the Springbok tour.

See http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/springbok-tour

liezl said...


I absolutely love the description of the discovery of the caves. I was teaching a class on Plato's cave analogy just the other day, and this seems to be just the opposite. As you might know, Plato tells the story of a bunch of people who are tied up in a cave, and all they see are the reflections of artefacts being carried around behind them. Since this is the only reality they know they have to be untied and forceably taken from the cave into the light, to see the truth.

I've heard that the Dopper Church was named after that little instrument you use to put out a candle. The Doppers wanted to turn out the light, you see, after the Enlightment thinkers tried to force them from their cosy cave.

But hey, the moral of your story seems to be that if you are brave, you can find Beauty within that cave. To hell with the Enlightenment! Hoera Van Zyl!

First world Journalist said...

hey B,

been trying to find you, man. You're not easy to find. I read your comment on that rediculous blog: Why SA is crap. Wanted to tell you that I fully agree with you. You comment was excellent and I couldn't have put it better myself. There are more of us out there that think that site is a mudpool for self-absorbed, racist individuals who like wallowing in their own misery.

b said...

from B to A

thanks man. why was it difficult to find me? why isn't your blog accessible? why do people who think that SA is crap read "why SA is crap" if they already know SA is crap?

why why why?

Anonymous said...

A van Zyl once, rather lamentfully, told me that there were no well known, respectable or iconic van Zyls in the world for other van Zyls to look up to and be proud of???????

excuse you! For the information of the people We have allot of van Zyl's to look up to My great Grand father Gideon Brand van Zyl General Govener of the Cape Union of South Africa and secondly His father Casper van Zyl who started the family library that was given to Uct (university of cape town)So that all people can read and study law in south africa there is even books traced back to the 1400's which are originals. So yea I'm a van Zyl and proud of it sure there are lame ones just like in any other surnames around the world.

So don be that quick to be Judgemental