Johannesburg: South African newspapers on Sunday paid tribute to Hansie Cronje, saying his death ended one of the saddest sagas in the history of South African sport.
"Never before in this country had a 'hero-to-zero' tale of such mammoth proportions gripped most of our communities," the Johannesburg-based 'Sunday Independent' said in an editorial comment. Most of the country's Sunday press ran banner headlines on Cronje's fatal crash. "Hansie's death flight" read the front page of Afrikaans Sunday paper 'Rapport', which spent six full pages filled with pictures and tributes on Cronje. "He was the hero of small boys from townships to golf estates, of girls and mothers from the boreholes to the beauty salons," the 'Independent' editorial said. "Hansie let us down, but not as badly as he did himself. He paid dearly for his dishonesty," the newspaper added. "Now he has lost the chance to fully redeem himself, as surely he would have done in time."
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