Super Rugby player allegedly assaults pregnant woman

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A 19-year-old Super Rugby player who has been accused of allegedly verbally and physically attacking a pregnant woman in front of her mother and children has been released on a warning before his next court appearance.

The Cape Times states that the accused – who also allegedly used racial slurs – is expected to appear in the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court on 5 January after his arrest by the Melkbosstrand police.

According to the publication, on 13 December, the 27-year-old Atlantis mother was at a shopping centre with her family when she came across the accused and his friends. The woman then claims that the group allegedly made comments about her and others.

The woman states that there was an altercation after the group tried to knock a car guard with their car, but instead knocked her vehicle, says the publication.

While trying to contact the police, the woman’s phone was allegedly grabbed out of her hand. She was then assaulted with a car door.

The publication states that the woman was also allegedly hit against the head and choked by the Super Rugby player.

Family spokesperson and member of the Ukubavimba Foundation, Venice Burgins says the incident traumatised the woman. However, the family is hopeful that justice will be served.

Burgins also says that when the victim tried to report the assault to the Melkbosstrand police on the same day, she was allegedly given a contact number to report the case to.

After the Atlantis Action Group reported the incident to the foundation, the case was finally registered on 20 December.

“Gender-based violence and femicide is rife in our country, the second pandemic after Covid, and must be dealt with in the harshest manner,” said Burgins.

“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.”

The publication states that 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.”

Traut said that the allegation that the victim was turned away by Melkbosstrand police station is being investigated departmentally. This process is, however, an internal affair.