Dan Retief

Dan Retief

Personal information

Dan Retief was born on 14 June 1951 and educated in Kimberley at Diamantveld Hoërskool, matriculating in 1968. Two years later he graduated from the Argus Journalists Cadet School with General Newspaper and Compilation Training. He entered the world of professional journalism at the DFA (Diamond Fields Advertiser), a highly popular newspaper in Kimberley. [1]

Retief’s avid interest in sport eventually led him to focus more on the sporting aspect of journalism almost as soon as his writing career began. Starting out as a part-time writer, his sports writing has grown to become the defining feature of his professional life. He has received numerous awards for his work and has become a renowned figure both in South African sporting culture and in South African society. [2]

While his most prominent contributions to South African sports journalism have been linked to rugby and golf, Retief has also run the Comrades and Two-Oceans Marathons. His golfing knowledge is not only limited to his weekly column as he has an excellent handicap of five. Retief maintains high profile friendships with the likes of Gary Player, Ernie Els, Nick Price, John Bland, Mark McNulty and Ashleigh Simon. [2]

Career information

Retief started his career in 1970 at Diamond Fields Advertiser (DFA) in Kimberly as a sports and news writer and by 1972 was at the head of the sports division. In 1973, Retief joined the Cape Argus,a prominent publication in the Western Cape, as a sportswriter. [1]

Retief furthered his sport-writing career in 1978 at the Rand Daily Mail, where he worked as a rugby writer until 1982. While at the Rand Daily Mail he toured with the Springboks on several occasions, most notably the infamous tour of New Zealand in 1981. From 1982 to 1983 he occupied the position of Sports Editor at the Cape Times. However from 1984 until 1991 he limited his writing to an award-winning column in the Financial Mail while beginning his progression into the public relations industry. [2]

After some success in public relations Retief returned to sports journalism in 1991 as a Senior Correspondent for the Sunday Times. Thereafter, Retief joined Supersport in 2000 as the Editor of Rugby and Golf, as well as anchoring South Africa’s premier rugby show, Boots and All. In addition, during 2000 Retief was appointed by SuperSport as the leading writer on their sporting website, SuperSport Zone. In 2007 Retief researched, wrote and presented the “Springbok Saga” sport documentary – a highly detailed analysis of the South African national Rugby team’s annual performances beginning with the year 1995 and ending with the year 2007. Retief continues his work for SuperSport Zone as the current editor of Rugby and Golf. [2]

Recognitions and awards

Retief is the only person ever to win the SAB South African Sportswriter of the year three times having won the award in 1992, 1995 and 1997. He was asked to become a judge for these awards after his third success. In addition, he also won the Adidas Topsport Rugby Writer of the year twice (1991, 1992) and more recently was announced as Compleat Golfer’s Golf Journalist of the Year in 2008. 2008 was also the year in which Retief was inducted into the South African Sports Hall of Fame under the media category for his contribution to South African sports journalism. [3]

Retief’s other personal achievements include:

- SAB Sports Writers Merit Award (1986)
- Finalist in SABC Victor Awards (1994, 1995)
- SARFU Rugby Journalist of the Year (1995)
- Author of best-selling autobiography of former Springbok Rugby Captain Wynand Claassen – “More Than Just Rugby” (1984) [1]

His achievements have made him one of the most popular and well-respected authorities on sport in South Africa with regular appearances on SuperSport’s shows such as “Boots and All” and “All out Rugby” making him a recognisable figure in South African society. [4]

Other professional activities

Retief is also involved in various clubs and societies which reach beyond the world of journalism. He is an honorary member of both Parkview and Killarney Golf Club and has been a member of the Olympic Sports Club in Cape Town for over 20 years. [1]

Most notably, however, his vast success in the field of journalism has led to him being elected onto multiple award judging panels. To date, he has been adjudged the following:

- SAB Sports Writers Awards (1992 – 2006)
- Mondi SA Magazine Awards (2001 – 2003)
- Sasol Springbok Media Awards (2004 – present)

In addition, many prominent overseas publications have requested a contribution from Retief over the years, with Rugby World Magazine, Australian Rugby Review, The Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald using him as a South African correspondent. [1]

External links

Compleat Golfer

Daily Telegraph, The

Diamond Fields Advertiser

Rugby World Cup Official Guide

Rugby World Magazine


Sasol Springbok Media Awards

Sunday Times


Sydney Morning Herald


Primary Sources

[1] Retief, D. 2009. Curriculum Vitae. Unpublished paper.

[2] Retief, D. 2009. Pitted Curriculum Vitae. Unpublished paper.

Dan Retief

Secondary Sources

[3] Gouws, A. Marais, E. 2009. Rugby World Cup Official Guide. Rugby news columnists “Dan Retief”. Retrieved on 19 October 2009 from http://rwc.co.za/retief.htm

[4] RugbyZone contributing authors. 2009. SuperSport. Blogs: RugbyZone “Dan Retief’. Retrieved on 18 October 2009 from http://www.rugbyzone.com/blogs

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