bakkies botha
What is Bakkies Botha up to now? Image: Wikipedia

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What is the iconic Bakkies Botha up to these days?

Bakkies Botha is undoubtedly one of the most iconic Springboks of all time. We reflect on his career, and look at what he’s up to now.

23-04-24 18:31
bakkies botha
What is Bakkies Botha up to now? Image: Wikipedia

Bakkies Botha is a literal giant of South African rugby, having featured in 85 Springbok games during an illustrious career in which he established himself as one of the most physical and fearsome locks in the history of the game.

Botha made his debut for the Springboks as a 23-year-old in November 2002, and went on to form part of South Africa’s squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, scoring three tries.

He became a fixture in the national team after that, which included playing a pivotal role in the Springboks’ charge to the 2007 Rugby World Cup title.

Botha reached the 50-cap milestone in the historic victory over New Zealand in Dunedin in 2008, but various injuries did begin to impact his international career in the years to come.

The powerful lock made his last five Springbok appearances as a substitute at the age of 35 in 2014, eventually calling time on a career that saw Botha become renowned for his incredible physicality as well as his iconic second row partnership with Victor Matfield.

On the domestic stage, Botha was also a member of the Bulls side that clinched the Super 14 crown in 2007, a feat that he repeated in 2009 and 2010.

His iconic career for the Bulls saw him feature in over 150 games across all competitions, achieving a variety of other honours: Currie Cup triumph (2002, 2004, 2006, 2009) and Vodacom Cup title (2001).

He also became a fan favourite at French club Toulon between 2011 and 2015. During that time he was part of the winning team that claimed Europe’s Champions Cup three times (2013, 2014, 2015) and the Top 14 title in 2014

In addition to all his career accolades, Botha was also part of the Springboks’ triumphant squads that won a Tri-Nations title and a British & Irish Lions series in 2009.


Botha was regarded as one of the most physically intimidating rugby players of all time, although quite often blurring the lines between serving as an effective enforcer and compromising the team cause through ill-discipline.

Yet, the ultimate Springbok enforcer was a beloved member of every team he played for, and was well known for his wicked sense of humour and colourful personality on and off the field.


Even before hanging up his boots, Botha founded Bakkies Boerewors while playing in France and launched Bakkies the Butcher on his return to SA, a wholesale meat supplier to butchers, top restaurants and hotels.

And in 2020, B4 Beefmasters started trading, a livestock farming business producing indigenous, locally bred beef cattle.

This was achieved with perfect alignment as Botha is a farmer at heart … “Since 2002, I had a dream ever since signing my first Springbok contract, and that was to own a farm,” he shared in an interview on The Dan Nicholl Show. “I bought a piece of land and initially stuck with cattle, before changing more to the gaming industry.”

Having become involved in the wildlife industry, he also become an outspoken advocate fighting against the scourge of rhino poaching.

Botha and some of his colleagues also started a welfare organisation called HelpJag, which collects donated venison to feed underprivileged children

Botha, who is also a devoted father, married his wife Carien in 2005.