Riaan Cruywagen's final salute

2012-11-27 07:33
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – With a simple hand salute and goodbye wave, a visibly emotional Riaan Cruywagen – after 37 years the longest continuing presence on South African television and TV news – signed off and said goodbye to millions of viewers on SABC2 at 19:00 during the Nuus om 7 on Monday evening.

"My task is completed. Tonight, exactly 37 years after reading my first TV news bulletin, I'm retiring," said the dapper newsman, dressed in a black pinstripe suit with a red-and-white striped tie and matching red hankerchief; his hair as perfectly coiffed as ever.

"My heartfelt appreciation goes to the Afrikaans news editorial staffs who, over the decades, I've been privileged to work with - in the most recent times my bulletin editors Sandy Macdonald and Monica Ribbons, my executive director Kenneth Makatees and my pillar-of-support boss, Jimi Matthews."

"You know, TV news is a massive team effort, and I was just the ears of the hippo which stuck out. To you, the TV news viewers, thank you that you, over so many years, allowed me into your homes. For me it was an exceptional privilege and when I look back, it was all just grace. For the very last time, goodbye. Good day," he said as he lifted his right hand and made a goodbye wave and hand salute to viewers.

TV tribute and farewell brunch

Cruywagen's sign-off at the end of the bulletin was suddenly followed by an hour long retrospective TV special on SABC2 neither viewers nor shocked TV critics in the country knew about beforehand.

The special looked back at Cruywagen's storied career as a news broadcaster and his stay at the SABC which spans 47 years in total.

At a farewell brunch in Sandton on Monday morning the SABC presented Cruywagen with a special plaque.

Prof Pippa Green, SABC board member said: "Riaan thank you for all of your years of loyalty, support and service to a public broadcaster which is not always the easiest place to be but is probably one of the most important places."

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's acting chief operating officer (COO) said: "I think you have done a wonderful job for the SABC. The way you dress, the way you talk to people – you’re a human being. You lead by example."

'I never became involved in politics'

Jimi Matthews, the acting head of news and current affairs at the SABC said: "Now we're going to have to get used to South African television news without Riaan Cruywagen. And it's quite a strange notion; quite a strange feeling actually.

"His contribution to broadcasting, not only to the SABC, but to broadcasting in general has been immense. Riaan's legacy in the news room will always be his commitment to his craft, his dedication, his professionalism. And for me I think it was a huge honour to work alongside someone like Riaan.”

Sandy Macdonald, the editor for Afrikaans TV news on SABC2 said: "I think he played an enormous role to make Afrikaans cool again."

Bessie Tugwana, SABC2 channel head, said: "For SABC2 I want to express our pride and profound gratitude that he has stayed this long. And not just staying long, he has brought professionalism to the news reading and some kind of believability.

"As you know there are three bulletins at 19:00, every day except weekends. Those bulletins are English on SABC3, English on e.tv, but the Afrikaans bulletin has always attracted more audiences. That for us is testimony that he sustained that in his community. I think as a channel he has also given the channel, the brand SABC2, credibility.”

Chriselda Lewis, SABC TV reporter said: "Riaan keeps looking the same way that he did so many years ago. I still need to find out how he achieved that. He doesn't have any gray hair. When you try and look for wrinkles on his face you can barely find them."

"He appeals to so many people across the colour line. That is just amazing."

"I always remained a career broadcaster," said Cruywagen at the brunch. "No matter who was in charge of government or at the SABC, I remained true to my profession and nothing else. I never became involved in politics – neither external nor internal – and I made it my duty to present the news in an unbiased, non-partisan and objective, credible and authoritative way."


  • jandreleroux - 2012-11-27 07:38

    Baai Oom Riaan! What a man, what a career, what a pruik!

      hentie.devries - 2012-11-27 07:52


      merven.halo - 2012-11-27 08:11

      Chuck Norris was the first man to reach Mount Everest's peak, just to be waited in and interviewed by Riaan Cruywagen...

      preshen.govender.12382 - 2012-11-27 08:16

      Chuck Norris has a tattoo for Riaan Cruywagen

      nicholas.graan - 2012-11-27 08:16

      The end of an era, mooi loop Meneer Cruywagen ..

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-27 08:40

      Isn't it great to see a legend retire without scandal. We salute you Riaan!

      naas.viljoen.16 - 2012-11-27 12:13

      Riaan het 'n besonderse sin vir humor. Ek het verwag dat hy sy pruik sou aftrek.

      Lyndatjie - 2012-11-27 13:29

      @Zambeziriver you twat - learn to separate the reporters from the news makers... ignoramus!

      nicholas.graan - 2012-11-27 15:06

      @zambezi.river Which soldiers, FAPLA?

  • tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-11-27 07:43

    He will always be an iconic person in South African history. Enjoy the retirement :)

  • Nukesta - 2012-11-27 07:48

    Die einde van

      Metalyptica - 2012-11-27 11:35

      'n legende.

  • Nukesta - 2012-11-27 07:49

    Die einde van 'n baie lang era!

  • albert.m.burger - 2012-11-27 07:55


  • p.borchard - 2012-11-27 07:57

    Geniet dit Riaan - jy en jou familie verdien 'n wonderlike aftrede. Dankie vir jou pragtige Afrikaans die afgelope 37 jaar!

  • smuts.mike - 2012-11-27 08:06

    Riaans teleprompter doesn't have a screen, only an extra microphone, NO ONE tells Riaan what to say! Enjoy retirement, you deserve it the most!

  • ShotLeft - 2012-11-27 08:08

    Mooiloop ou grote.. Laat die wereld weet. Afrikaners is nie so kommin soos die Engelse en die Afrikane ons wil uitmaak nie. Riaan is 'n goeie voorbeeld van Afrikanerskap. 'n Produk van die goeie ou SA.

      Donkervlie - 2012-11-27 15:53

      Watter engelse praat jy van ou maat? Afrikaaners wat engels as hulle moeder taal het of praat jy van mense van Engeland. Moet nie se engelse Afrikaaners nie want dan wys jy wat se rubbish jy eintlik is en jy hoort nie jou self Afrikaaner te noem nie.

  • Deon Muller - 2012-11-27 08:18

    Totsiens Oom Riaan, jy gaan sowaar gemis word. Die laaste standvastigheid in die Afrikaanse kultuur het nou totsiens gesê.

  • dick.etheridge - 2012-11-27 08:18

    Baie dankie vir al die TV besoeke na ons sitkamer...Rus en Vrede vir u en die familie saam.

  • ferreira.charmaine - 2012-11-27 08:23

    Really going to miss Oom Riaan's face on SABC 2 News. Enjoy been with your family in the evenings and your retirement. You are a true icon.

  • heiku.staude - 2012-11-27 08:23

    Ooooohh neeeeee! Afrikaans is dood!

  • mzakes.matabata - 2012-11-27 08:29

    Well done!! what a career. Geniet jou tyd met jou kinders en klein kinders.

  • greg.quinn.353 - 2012-11-27 08:31

    Riaan can now run for president, at least he has the loyalty this country so desperately needs. What a legend, wow a 47 year career, respect!

  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-11-27 08:31

    Enjoy your retirement Riaan. A true scholar and gentleman.

  • benlloyd.roth - 2012-11-27 08:34

    Dankie oom Riaan. Jou Legend. Miskien kan on jou op die R500 noot sit.

  • nmunyai - 2012-11-27 08:35

    A legend indeed!....

  • donovan.kalamdien.1 - 2012-11-27 08:35

    The USA got Chuck Norris... We as South Africans were fortunate to have the pioneer in TV News Sir Riaan Cruywagen. All of the best with your retirement!!!!!!!

  • Gert van Coller - 2012-11-27 08:36

    Riaan is 'n ware suid afrikaner. Geniet die aftrede, jy verdien dit!

  • abdul.cassiem.9 - 2012-11-27 08:40

    Wow!!!what an achievement can stil remember watching t news on our blck an white blauplukt tv u still hve tht quality of professiolism.salusa45 werk wonders U r already missed

  • simon.carter.5836711 - 2012-11-27 08:42

    I am struggling to believe it...... That the SABC STILL has millions of viewers!

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-27 08:44

    Anyone who can survive the Nationalists, the ANC and the SABC can beat Chuck Norris with his eyes closed!

  • apostlebc - 2012-11-27 08:46

    Zuma should retire gracefully like Riaan, maybe he will earn some respect

  • furlong.lubisi.7 - 2012-11-27 08:49

    True legend,veteran and at true african hero. Give that majo a Bells

  • jenny.t.buchler - 2012-11-27 08:49


      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-11-27 16:47

      Jy vergeet Koning Roseboom/Rosekrans...!!

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-11-27 08:51

    Wow, I can still remember a young Riaan reading the news when TV was first introduced in SA. He still looks the same today as he did back then. The only difference is that then he was in black and white, and now in colour. What an innings mate - enjoy retirement.

  • roald.leroux - 2012-11-27 08:57

    Die einde van 'n era. Jou gelyke voor 'n televisie kamera, jou vermoee om met die kyker te "engage" bestaan nie. Foutloos, onkreukbaar, klokslag dieselfde. Dieselfde bulletin deur 'n ander nuusleser het net nie dieselfde gewig gedra nie. Totsiens Riaan - Ek sal jou geweldig mis.

  • gerald.turner.391 - 2012-11-27 09:15

    Even Chuck Norris cried when Riaan said goodbye !

  • charmian.green - 2012-11-27 09:26

    Haas Das se nuuskas is finally gone! Wonderful career and great example of professionalism and grace.

  • rachael.vs.1 - 2012-11-27 09:33

    I think he will make a comeback...........unlike Chuck Norris.

      merven.halo - 2012-11-27 09:47

      Lol, Chuck Norris was never gone. Riaan knows when to retire, unlike Chuck, Madonna etc.

  • hardus.mynhardt - 2012-11-27 09:53

    Riaan, jy het standaarde gestel wat moeilik geëwenaar sal word. Ons wens jou 'n aangename aftrede toe - jy verdien dit!

  • noedig.greene - 2012-11-27 10:34

    Oooooh Yes all the propagangda the National Party fed us through him, true champion of Apartheid.

      Metalyptica - 2012-11-27 11:41

      People like you should rather learn to think before you speak. He was in no way involved in politics. He just did his job as a newsreader.

      Jane - 2012-11-27 12:36

      Stupid much noedig.greene?

      furlong.lubisi.7 - 2012-11-27 15:20

      Was he for or just reading the news that was submitted to him. Get your head examined quickly

      Donkervlie - 2012-11-27 16:01

      Yes he also read the propaganda that the so called freedom thieves were spreading as well. Because we now find out that the so called freedom fighters were nothing but liars and thieves. And he read the news under a ANC run SABC

  • penny.stone.589 - 2012-11-27 11:05

    The only newsreader I know who has the most perfect diction, both in his own taal and in mine. Sad to see you go Riaan but wishing you all the best for your retirement. Enjoy!

  • hendrik.schutte.3152 - 2012-11-27 12:21

    I can not agree with the "surprise" of the hour long program that followed the news. It was extensively advertised by SABC for quite a few day's before. Would only have "surprised" those who DO NOt regularly watch SABC. But I have no gripes at all about all the accolades for Riaan, what a man. Give him a Bells or two. He sure has earned it.

  • henry.vanderburpenfart - 2012-11-27 12:21

    Goosebumps stuff. One of the last true gentlemen.

  • jacques.malan.54 - 2012-11-27 13:01

    When the Big Bang happened, Riaan Cruywagen reported it! Geniet jou aftrede, jou beauty, jou doring, jou legende! Jy het in ons harte ingekruip, en ons gaan jou vreeslik mis!

  • petra.carstens.75 - 2012-11-27 14:08

    Ek en my man Deon sal altyd daardie pittige,gepaste sê-goed onthou net nadat hy sy laaste berig gelees het. Soms het ons gelê soos ons lag! Baie dankie Riaan...ons sal jou werklik BAIE mis! Geniet die 'uittrede' dis die wonderlikste tyd van mens se lewe.

  • howard.ware.98 - 2012-11-27 15:04

    To think that I saw both the first and last of your bulletins. THANK YOU.

  • marlon.pillay.549 - 2012-11-27 15:52

    I would have love to see Riaan in some dreadlocks. I recently watched an old Leon Schuster movie and Riaan reads the news in zulu, that was in the old apartheid era who would have thought it became reality? Not so funny anymore. LMAO Totsiens Riaan se hallo vir Charl Pauw

  • sakeena.gill.3 - 2012-11-27 19:49

    Riaan, i grew up watching you on TV and always had the greatest admiration for you, watching your farewell last night brought tears to my eyes to see that you have been well loved throughout SA. I wish you a happy and healthy retirement. I salute you!

  • sakeena.gill.3 - 2012-11-27 19:53

    Mr Cruywagen, I wish you a happy and healthy retirement, how emotional to see how well loved you were. I salute you

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-11-27 20:33

    Riaan...you were so committed and steadfast, now it's time to kick back and enjoy your...life, go travel and see the world....you deserve it. Best of Luck.

  • pmarthenuissen - 2012-11-28 00:03

    Looking for a boyfriend with the Riaan Cruywagen staying-power. Thank you very much!

  • christopher.m.lowe - 2012-11-28 08:14

    Go well, Riaan. You really were a legend. And professional to the end. A long and happy retirement to you!

  • leigh.ridgway - 2012-12-03 10:31

    Chuck Norris wears Riaan Cruywagen pyjamas!

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