A Super Rugby player who allegedly attacked a pregnant woman has been released on a warning before his first court appearance next year.
Cape Town – A Super Rugby player who allegedly attacked a pregnant woman has been released on a warning before his first court appearance next year.
The 19-year-old player is expected to appear in the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court on January 5 after he was arrested by Melkbosstrand police for allegedly physically and verbally abusing the woman in front of her mother and her two children. He also allegedly made racial slurs.
Venice Burgins, a family spokesperson for the alleged victim, a 27-year-old Atlantis woman, said the ordeal had traumatised the woman, but with the court case looming, her family were hopeful for justice.
The woman was at a shopping centre with her family on December 13 when she encountered the accused with a group of friends.
According to the woman, they allegedly made comments directed at her and people around her.
On returning to her car, the woman said there was an altercation after the group allegedly tried to bump into a car guard, instead knocking into the victim’s vehicle.
The woman said when she tried to contact police, her phone was grabbed out of her hand and she was physically assaulted with a car door. She accused the man of also allegedly making racist remarks, hitting her against the head and choking her.
Burgins, also from activist organisation the Ukubavimba Foundation, said that when the victim tried to report the case to Melkbosstrand police that day, she was instead given a number to contact to report the case.
The case was eventually registered on December 20 after assistance from the Atlantis Action Group who reported the matter to the foundation.
“Gender-based violence and femicide is rife in our country, the second pandemic after Covid, and must be dealt with in the harshest manner.
“The fact that this assault was on a 37-week pregnant woman in the presence of her mother and children leaves much room to be desired of the character of the suspect,” said Burgins.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said: “(A case) was registered by a female for assault, crimen injuria, reckless and negligent driving and leaving an accident scene. The suspect, a 19-year-old male, was arrested and is due in court once he has been charged.
“(Another case) was registered by a 55-year-old female for attempted murder, no one has been arrested as yet.
“The allegation that the victim was turned away by Melkbosstrand police station is being investigated departmentally. This process is, however, an internal affair.”