SA Athletes Court Cases

Court Cases involving SA Athletes. Image credit: X @PVNNews

SA’s biggest court cases involving sports stars

From Thembinkosi Lorch, to Oscar Pistorius, here are some of the biggest court cases involving South African athletes.

SA Athletes Court Cases

Court Cases involving SA Athletes. Image credit: X @PVNNews

South Africa has seen its fair share of major court cases, but there seems to have been a larger number of high-profile cases involving sports stars than usual.

ALSO READ: Three Orlando Pirates matches Thembinkosi Lorch will miss through suspension

In the USA, they had the OJ Simpson trial. France had the Karim Benzema and Benjamin Mendy situations. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, it was the Wagatha Christie saga. In South Africa, however, we’ve had our fair share of iconic court cases featuring some of the biggest sports stars in the country. Some of them have seen our stars in trouble, others have changed the course of history forever. Some remain unsolved, others found justice.


Thembinkosi Lorch

Thembinkosi Lorch is one of the most recent court cases on this list and is still fresh in the memory of many. The Orlando Pirates star was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend back in 2020 and in November 2023 was handed a suspended five-year sentence. He is also banned from playing for Orlando Pirates until December.

ALSO READ: Orlando Pirates: Lorch to miss these three matches

Senzo Meyiwa

Another case involving an Orlando Pirates player? Sure, but this one is very different. Of all the legal sagas in this list, this one has probably run the longest and its made unique by the fact that Senzo Meyiwa himself isn’t alive to be part of the trial. The long-running quest to find his killers is still in court and is no closer to a resolution.

Hanse Cronje

Hanse Cronje was accused of match-fixing in a series of inquiries held by an independent cricket tribunal. The saga continued long after his death and as recently as 2020 it seemed as if it might be resurrected, but it was put to bed a few years later

ALSO READ: Orlando Pirates – When will Thembinkosi Lorch return from suspension?


Caster Semenya

Not all of these court cases involve bad behaviour. Caster Semenya found herself in court on a number of occasions as she appealed her ban from competing as a woman in global athletics competitions. The case was escalated to the Court of Arbitration for Sports before the European Court of Human Rights intervened and granted the verdict in her favour.

Oscar Pistorius

You get high-profile court cases, and then you get the Oscar Pistorius case. This particular story, which followed after Oscar shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in 2013 has been one of the most publicly followed trials in history. In the end, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide and is currently eligible for parole.

ALSO READ: EXPLAINER: What Orlando Pirates star Lorch’s suspended sentence means

Which of these court cases do you remember the most vividly?