500+ Most Famous And Legendary South Africans of All Time [Part 2]


This is the continuation of our comprehensive list of famous South Africans which comprises of media personalities, sports men and women, business people, politicians, writers, photographers, models and media personalities. These are famous South Africans that have made a big difference both at Global and local levels, you might want to take  look at the first part of this article by following the link below:

A Comprehensive List of over 500 Popular South Africans [Part 1]

Famous South African Entrepreneurs

  • Raymond Ackerman, businessman (born 1931)
  • Barney Barnato, mining magnate (1852–1897)
  • David Brink, businessman (born 1939)
  • John Fairbairn, founder of Mutual Life
  • Sol Kerzner, hotel magnate (born 1935)
  • Basetsana Kumalo, former Miss South Africa, presenter and businesswoman (born 1974)
  • Sammy Marks, businessman (1844–1920)
  • Patrice Motsepe, businessman (born 1962)
  • Elon Musk, Internet and space launch entrepreneur (born 1971)
  • Harry Oppenheimer, businessman (1908–2000)
  • Charles Purdon, agricultural pioneer (1838–1926)
  • Mamphela Ramphele, political activist, academic, businesswoman and mother to the son of Steve Biko (born 1947)
  • Cyril Ramaphosa, politician and businessman (born 1952)
  • Cecil Rhodes, businessman (1853–1902)
  • Anton Rupert, businessman and conservationist (1916–2006)
  • Johann Rupert, businessman, son of Anton Rupert (born 1950)
  • Tokyo Sexwale, politician and businessman (born 1953)
  • Mark Shuttleworth, web entrepreneur, founder of Thawte and Ubuntu Linux, space tourist (born 1973)
  • Roelof Botha, is a venture capitalist and company director.
  • George Rex, pioneer entrepreneur of the Southern Cape (1765-1839)
Raymond Ackerman - famous south africans
via africanseer.com

See Also: A Comprehensive list of South Africa’s Largest Cities

Famous South African Athletics

Oscar Pistorius, disabled runner - famous south africans

  • Okkert Brits, pole-vaulter (born 1973)
  • Zola Budd, marathon and long-distance runner (born 1966)
  • Hestrie Cloete, high jumper (born 1978)
  • Bruce Fordyce, ultra-marathon runner (born 1955)
  • Jacques Freitag, high jumper (born 1982)
  • Llewellyn Herbert, 400m hurdles, Olympic bronze medallist (born 1977)
  • Frantz Kruger, discus thrower (born 1975)
  • Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, middle distance runner, Olympic silver medallist (born 1980)
  • Oscar Pistorius, disabled runner (born 1986)
  • Hezekiél Sepeng, middle distance runner, Olympic silver medallist (born 1974)
  • Josia Thugwane, marathon runner, Olympic gold medallist (born 1971)
  • Louis Jacob van Zyl, 400m hurdles, Commonwealth Games gold medallist (born 1985)

Famous South African Activists and Trade Unionists

Khoisan X - popular south africans

  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (born 1936)
  • Zackie Achmat, AIDS activist (born 1962)
  • Neil Aggett, political activist and trade unionist (c. 1953–1982)
  • Jeremy Baskin, trade unionist (born 1956)
  • Edward Bhengu, founder member of the PAC (1934–2010)
  • Steve Biko, nonviolent political activist (1946–1977)
  • John Langalibalele Dube, first president of the ANC (1871–1946)
  • Chris Hani, political activist (1942–1993)
  • Irene Grootboom, housing rights activist (c. 1969–2008)
  • Ruth Hayman, anti-apartheid campaigner (died 1981)
  • Ahmed Kathrada, political activist (born 1929)
  • Adolph Malan, fighter pilot and civil rights activist (1910–1963)
  • Govan Mbeki, political activist and father of Thabo Mbeki (1910–2001)
  • Robert McBride, anti-apartheid assassin and later police chief (born 1963)
  • Fatima Meer, scientist and political activist (1928–2010)
  • Vuyisile Mini, unionist and Umkhonto we Sizwe activist (1920–1964)
  • Elias Motsoaledi, political activist (1924–1994)
  • Griffiths Mxenge, anti-apartheid activist (1935–1981)
  • Victoria Mxenge, anti-apartheid activist (1942–1985)
  • Lilian Ngoyi, anti-apartheid activist (1911–1980)
  • Rachel Simons, communist and trade unionist (1914–2004)
  • Albertina Sisulu, political activist and wife of Walter Sisulu (born 1919)
  • Walter Sisulu, political activist (1912–2003)
  • Robert Sobukwe, political activist (1924–1978)
  • Oliver Tambo, political activist (1917–1993)
  • Khoisan X, political activist (1955–2010)

Famous South African Legal, Police and Military Personnel

Arthur Chaskalson
  • Lourens Ackermann, constitutional court judge (born 1934)
  • Ismail Ayob, lawyer (born 1942)
  • George Bizos, lawyer (born 1928)
  • Louis Botha Boer War General, captured Winston Churchill during the Second Boer War, also one of the singnitaries of the Treaty of Vereeniging (1862-1919)
  • Arthur Chaskalson, judge (born 1931)
  • Piet Cronjé, boer general and commander-in-chief of ZAR’s military forces (1840–1911)
  • Koos de la Rey, boer general (1847–1914)
  • Pierre de Vos, constitutional law scholar (born 1963)
  • Christiaan Rudolph de Wet, boer general and acting President of the Orange Free State (1854–1922)
  • Johannes Christiaan de Wet, legal academic (1912–1990)
  • Bram Fischer, advocate QC and political activist (1908–1975)
  • Richard Goldstone, ex-constitutional court judge (born 1938)
  • Harold Hanson, advocate QC (1904–1973)
  • Sydney Kentridge, former advocate of the Supreme Court and Acting Justice of the Constitutional Court (born 1922)
  • Mervyn E. King, former judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa and chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance
  • Pius Langa, chief justice of constitutional court (born 1939)
  • Magnus Malan, minister of defence and chief of the South African Defence Force (born 1930)
  • Cecil Margo, judge (1915–2000)
  • Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of South Africa (born 1961)
  • Sandile Ngcobo, former Chief Justice of South Africa (born 1953)
  • Bulelani Ngcuka, director of public prosecutions (born 1954)
  • Marmaduke Pattle Highest scoring Allied Air Ace of World War Two (1914-1941)
  • Albie Sachs, justice in constitutional court (born 1935)
  • Jackie Selebi, national commissioner of police (born 1950)
  • Percy Sonn, former head of the Directorate of Special Operations (1947–2007)
  • Sir Robert Clarkson Tredgold, Chief Justice of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1899–1977)
  • Percy Yutar, South Africa’s first Jewish attorney-general and prosecutor of Nelson Mandela in the 1963 Rivonia Treason Trial (1911–2002)

Famous South African Photographers

Kevin Carter - famous south africans
  • Kevin Carter (1961–1994)
  • Ernest Cole (1940–1990)
  • David Goldblatt, photographer (born 1930)
  • Bob Gosani (1934–1972)
  • Alf Kumalo (1930-2012)
  • Peter Magubane (born 1932)
  • Jürgen Schadeberg (born 1931)
  • Austin Stevens (born 1951)

Famous South African Supermodels, Socialites and Media Personalities

Minki-van-der-Westhuizen - famous south africans

Image credit: deonneleroux.co.za

  • Jani Allan, radio personality, journalist (born 1953)
  • Riaan Cruywagen, TV news reader (born 1945)
  • Trevor Denman, horse racing announcer (born 1952)
  • Alan Khan, radio personality (born 1971)
  • Jeremy Mansfield, radio and TV personality
  • Candice Swanepoel, Victoria’s Secret model (born 1988)
  • Gina Athans, model, international socialite
  • Charlize Theron
  • Megan McKenzie
  • Minki van der Westhuizen, model and TV presenter
  • Debora Patta, broadcast journalist and television producer
  • Jeremy Maggs, journalist, radio host and television presenter

Famous South African Colonial and Union Governors

Jan van Riebeeck
  • George Grey, Cape governor (1812–1898)
  • Jan Willem Janssens, Cape Governor (1762–1838)
  • Benjamin d’Urban, Cape Governor (1834-1837)
  • Benjamin Pine, Natal governor (1809–1891)
  • Harry Smith, Cape governor 1847–52 (1787–1860)
  • Andries Stockenström, governor of British Kaffraria (1792–1964)
  • Simon van der Stel, first Cape governor (1639–1712)
  • Willem Adriaan van der Stel, second Cape governor (1664–1723)
  • Jan van Riebeeck, founder of Cape settlement (1619–1677)
  • Nicolaas Jacobus de Wet (1873–1960), Chief Justice of South Africa and acting Governor-General


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