When Grant Gainsford saw video footage of his golf club being stolen, he immediately recognised the man who, along with a woman, allegedly walked off with his R7 000 driver.
An avid rugby supporter, Gainsford said the familiar face, who he believes nicked his stick, was a former Springbok, Western Province and Lions player, whose name is known to News24.
Surveillance footage recorded the man, who wore a peak cap, and a woman leave through the front door of the Stellenbosch Golf Club at around lunch time on Wednesday. Both were allegedly carrying clubs believed to belong to Gainsford and his friend, Louis Swanepoel.
Gainsford said he had arrived at the club at 12:00, ready to tee off at 12:50.
He placed his golf clubs in front of the cloakroom and went to sign in about 30 metres away. When he returned, he noticed his driver was missing.
"I thought it was a prank," Gainsford, who has belonged to the club since 1998, said.
When he got to the tee, Swanepoel mentioned that his putter was missing. Both thought they were being pranked and were suspicious of each other. But eventually they realised that their clubs had been stolen.
They nevertheless continued their game and reported the incident to the club, requesting an investigation.
Footage was retrieved, which showed a woman removing a club from a golf bag before quickly moving out of the camera's view as the man followed behind her.
Another clip showed the man - who exchanged a wave with another visitor entering the facility - walking through the front door, carrying a club, followed by the woman.
Swanepoel said he had placed his bag among about 15 others in the corridor because he knew there were CCTV cameras recording activity at the nearby ATM.
"When I saw the footage, I didn't recognise him. I don't know who he is. I only know the name," Swanepoel said.
He was considering laying criminal charges because the putter that was stolen was fairly new and worth R3 500, he pointed out.
If it is returned before he goes to the police station, he will consider resolving the matter amicably, although he maintains that the crime shouldn't go unpunished.
"It's a principle thing. I just want my putter back. I am not a [vengeful] person, but if I stole something I would merrily go to jail because I know that I committed a crime."
Gainsford said he established from a staff member that the couple had been seen walking around the club and that they claimed that they were "just looking around".
Stellenbosch Golf Club general manager Chris van der Merwe confirmed that the two were not members of the club, but couldn't say whether the rugby player had been there before.
He intended to lay a charge at the local police station on Thursday after he had viewed the clips.
News24 was unable to reach the rugby player for comment despite several attempts.
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