Deon and the obsessed 'tannie'

2010-11-27 00:00

DEON Helberg (21) gave no indication in his first comprehensive media interview whether he did, in fact, have sex with the woman who wanted to have him killed.

However, at no point in his interview with Huisgenoot, which was already on sale in some stores yesterday, did he explicitly deny having had a sexual relationship with her.

In an exclusive interview with Huisgenoot this week, Helberg spoke for the first time since Manda Reyneke’s (47) arrest about the fact that the woman he still refers to as “die tannie” developed an obsession with him — and that he is still traumatised and fearing for his life.

In the wide-ranging interview Helberg said, among other things, that he was completely floored by newspaper reports stating that he had simultaneous relationships with Reyneke and her daughter, Jalien Reyneke (20).

“I really did not see that coming,” Helberg told Huisgenoot.

He said the problems started two years ago when he refused to respond to Manda’s sexual advances.

“She wanted to do things … She said if I didn’t do what she told me, I would no longer be allowed to see Jalien. I told her that was bizarre and I wanted nothing of it,” said Helberg.

However, he would not go into any detail, apparently because he was highly embarrassed.

Helberg said Reyneke also showered him and his friends with gifts — and that she even bought him a car (which he later returned to her when he started playing for the Blue Bulls under 19 side and earning his own salary).

He said she became increasingly obsessed as time went on and started harassing him and his friends endlessly.

Once she offered to have Helberg’s cellphone repaired, but then said it could not be fixed and bought him a new one.

“But in the meantime she got on to MXit in my name on my old phone and started sending messages to some girl friends of mine pretending to be me,” he said.

“She said smutty things to the girls and many of them were upset by the vulgar messages. I didn’t know what to do.”

On one occasion he received a parcel in the post from Reyneke with all his old rugby jerseys, which he had still intended framing, “cut into shreds”.

That was when he realised there was something terribly wrong.

“She said that if she can’t have me, she will make sure that no other girl will ever get me.”

Helberg described Reyneke as a “very clever woman” and mentioned that she used to work for National Intelligence and that she was “accustomed to getting her way”.

He told Huisgenoot that he eventually told his parents. They went and spoke to Reyneke’s husband, Dr Dave Reyneke, who said he would speak to Manda. “Apparently he told her he would divorce her if she didn’t leave me alone. She then apparently told him that in that case he should go ahead and leave her.”

Helberg related how shocked he was to receive a call from one of the two “hitmen”.

“A strange voice said he was paid a lot of money to kill me. So I told him he’s got the wrong number. Then he said, ‘No, wait. Your name is Deon, you play rugby, you drive this kind of car, you live at such and such an address, and I have been paid to kill you’.”

Helberg said in the interview he did not believe that Reyneke simply wanted to have him hurt or scared off.

Within two days the Hawks had laid a trap for Reyneke and Helberg related how well the Hawks prepared him for how traumatic it could be to be “an actor in your own death scene”.

According to Huisgenoot, the realisation that he could actually have been dead had not sunk in with Helberg and he was extremely distressed all over again when Reyneke was released on bail.

He is seeing a psychologist to help him deal with the trauma and still feels he has to keep looking over his shoulder.

Helberg now simply wants to focus on his career.

“I want to close this chapter now and just focus on rugby,” he said.

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