He­witt too ill for court

Weekend Witness - - News -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — For­mer ten­nis dou­bles cham­pion Bob He­witt was too ill yes­ter­day to ap­pear in the Boks­burg Mag­is­trate’s Court on charges of rape and in­de­cent as­sault, the court heard.

“He [He­witt] can­not at­tend due to ill health. The … med­i­cal re­port handed in spec­i­fied his state of health,” his lawyer Al­wyn Griebenow told the court.

The 73-year-old is fac­ing two charges of rape and one of in­de­cent as­sault. He is ac­cused of mo­lest­ing young girls he coached decades ago. He al­legedly raped two girls on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions — one in 1981 in Sun City, North West, and a sec­ond in 1982 in Boks­burg. Both girls were 16 years old at the time.

“The ac­cused also faces a charge of in­de­cent as­sault com­mit­ted in 1994. The vic­tim was a girl aged 18 at the time,” said prose­cu­tor Henk Stry­dom.

Sum­mons was served on He­witt on June 18. He has de­nied all the charges.

Griebenow said He­witt was go­ing through a “tir­ing pe­riod”.

“He is an old man and is ill … he has had sev­eral op­er­a­tions in the pre­vi­ous years, this is very tir­ing for him,” Griebenow said.

The state had re­quested the con­sol­i­da­tion of the charges against him, and for the mat­ter to be heard in the high court in Jo­han­nes­burg. Mag­is­trate Em­manuel Magampa post­poned the mat­ter to Oc­to­ber 4.

A war­rant of ar­rest is­sued for He­witt would be with­held un­til then, Magampa said.

— Sapa.

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