Hooliganism: SARU wants answers
Hooliganism: SARU wants answersSHARE
The South African Rugby Union have been dragged into another hooliganism row, as the off-field violence seems to have no end.
It was reported that former Springbok scrumhalf Robert du Preez, now coach of Durban-based College Rovers, was assaulted by fans or players from rival club Brakpan at the conclusion of the Community Cup competition in George on Monday.
The incident at the SARU showpiece for open clubs is the latest black mark on the reputation of the sport in South Africa – a series of incidents that included five men appearing in a Durban court on murder charges on Thursday.
Du Preez was not available to give his version of the events in George on Monday, but SARU confirmed that they are aware 'an incident' on the final day
"We have called for reports from both clubs [Rovers and Brakpan] and would consider those before deciding what action, if any, needed to follow," a SARU spokesman told this website.
Details of the incident in George remain sketchy, but some reports claimed Du Preez was punched to the floor and kicked on the ground by five or six men – reportedly fans or players from the Brakpan club.
The incident is said to have happened in a bar in George, where members of the various teams gathered for post-tournament celebrations.
Rovers were beaten by Despatch in the Final earlier on Monday.
This follows a series of unsavoury incidents at stadiums in the last few weeks.
Problems started with a stand-up brawl between rival fans in the stands of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth last month, when the Southern Kings hosted the Sharks.
Then followed what must be an all-time low in crowd behaviour when British tourist Brett Williams was killed by a group of men – all five who appeared in the Durban Magistrate's court on Thursday.
This past weekend Newlands joined the growing number of venues in the hooliganism watchlist, when a woman was hospitalised after a fight broke out in the stands between the notorious 'Cape Crusaders' (Cape Town-based supporters of the New Zealand franchise) and Stormers fans.
* Meanwhile one of five men accused beating a fan to death in Durban recently was released on R2,000 bail on Thursday.
His four co-accused would remain in custody for a formal bail application next week, the Durban Magistrate's Court ruled.
Magistrate Vanitha Armu ordered that the names and pictures of the five men not be published. They are accused of beating Brett Williams, 29, to death at a Super Rugby match in Durban a fortnight ago.
The four still awaiting their bail hearing each face a murder charge. All five face charges of crimen injuria and assault with the intention to commit grievous bodily harm.
Prosecutor Krishen Shah told the court: "By Monday the State will have formulated its stance with regard to a bail application."
The four facing murder charges would be held at the Durban North police station. Armu ordered that all five report for an identity parade on Monday before appearing in court later in the day.
Shah told the court an order preventing the publication of the names and pictures of the men was needed, as investigators still needed to hold an identity parade.
"The order is needed to protect the status of the investigation," he said.
Defence lawyer Paul Jorgensen argued the names of the accused were probably already in the public domain through social networking websites. The court was packed with media, family members, and friends of the five men.
Williams, a former Royal Marine, survived tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as patrolling the waters off Somalia on anti-piracy missions, according to a report in the British Western Daily Press newspaper.
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