Assault in sports star’s divorce

2017-06-11 11:14

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Johannesburg - A former sports star and son of a soccer boss may face criminal charges for allegedly assaulting his foreign wife.

In an affidavit deposed by the woman, which was obtained by City Press, she said she was in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and a fight over the couple’s two children.

“My husband has previously abused me physically, verbally and emotionally, and the emotional abuse is persisting on a daily basis,” she wrote.

City Press cannot name the couple for legal reasons.

The woman alleged that the assault took place on February 1, but that she decided to open a case four months later after allegedly receiving numerous threats.

She alleged that on the day of the alleged assault, she and her husband had arranged for a parent and teacher meeting at the elder child’s school.

“My husband was supposed to have contact with both the children on the same day. From 12.30pm,” she alleged.

“I arrived 10 minutes early. While I was still breastfeeding my son, I saw my husband approaching my car. He came very close [and] with his phone pointed at me wanting to take our son with him.”

She then alleges that she asked him to leave and to stop harassing her because she felt intimidated.

“He harassed, pushed me hard with his arm/elbow and all this happened when we were at the school premises. I told him he was petty because I still had five minutes left with the child to say goodbye to my son.

“He harassed me outside of my car. I felt that this was not appropriate and I started videotaping my husband, shortly after he opened the door of my car where I was sitting.

“Then, he pushed me again and grabbed my cellphone out of my hands and threw it in the bushes next to the car and walked off to the classrooms.

“I was left traumatised, scared and worried, knowing that he assaulted me in public,” she alleged.

Three months later, in May, she says she was shocked after receiving a call from a person who claimed to be a prosecutor from the Johannesburg Family Court.

She was told her husband had laid criminal charges against her for contempt of court regarding contact with their two children.

After that, she alleges in the affidavit, she received another call from a person who introduced himself as Kenny, who claimed he was also calling from the family court and told her “they are coming to get you”.

The woman also alleges that she and her husband had an argument via SMS, after which he allegedly sent her a message saying:

“All the best u will need it as your time is running out.”

In the affidavit, she said she believed this was a threat on her life.

“I was very scared when I received that message as there has been a lot of hostile behaviour from my husband towards me previously. I was worried that he was going to do something to me,” she said.

Earlier this year, City Press reported that German businessman John Schneider-Merck, who has been supporting the woman financially and emotionally, was initiating a campaign to raise money for her to pay rent and gain custody of her young children.

Schneider-Merck said that between June and July last year, the sportsman removed the children from their mother’s care and she battled to get them back.

Parkview police spokesperson Tintswalo Sibeko confirmed on Friday that the woman had opened a case of assault and that it was being investigated.

The husband’s lawyer said he would not comment as the matter is sub judice.

Read more on:    gender based violence

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