This review discusses the 1987 article by Wyndham, Seftel, Pilcher and Baker on familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and myocardial infarction (MI) in young Afrikaners, in terms of the significance at the time of publication, as well as the relevance of their findings versus current observations on hypercholesterolaemia in South Africa. Risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) were investigated in this study, with specific reference to familial hypercholesterolaemia. The significance of Wyndham's article is evaluated with regard to the contributions on hypercholesterolaemia by other South African researchers that preceded this publication. The clinical diagnostic criteria that were applied to identify possible FH at the time of publication are compared with currently employed criteria and guidelines. This review also acknowledges and honours other clinicians and researchers who, like Wyndham et al., have made significant contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of FH in South Africans.