Golf club theft: Former Springbok appears in court after handing himself over to police

2019-01-21 10:54
Earl Rose outside court on Monday.

Earl Rose outside court on Monday. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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The former Springbok, Western Province and Lions rugby player Earl Rose, who was last week accused of stealing golf clubs in Stellenbosch, handed himself over to police on Saturday and has briefly appeared in court, Netwerk24 reported.

Rose reportedly appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Monday morning.

The case was postponed until February 18 for further investigation. 

Last week, News24 reported that surveillance footage recorded Rose, who wore a peak cap, and an unidentified woman leave through the front door of the Stellenbosch Golf Club at around lunchtime on Wednesday.

Rose has reportedly told police he did not know the woman. 

Both were allegedly carrying clubs believed to belong to player Grant Gainsford and his friend, Louis Swanepoel.

An avid rugby supporter, Gainsford said he recognised the man who he believes nicked his R7 000 golf club.

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.

Suspicious

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 Rose allegedly followed behind her.

Another clip showed Rose - who exchanged a wave with another visitor entering the facility - walking through the front door, allegedly carrying a club, followed by the woman.

On Thursday, two golf clubs, one of them dismantled, were returned to the Stellenbosch Golf Club, allegedly by Rose, who claimed the items were "lost and found".

Golf club general manager Chris van der Merwe told News24 that the security guard at the main entrance identified the driver who dropped off the clubs on Thursday as "the same person he saw [the day before]".

The man claimed he "picked it up" and wanted to return it. When directed to lost and found, he insisted on leaving it with the security guard at the main gate before driving off, Van der Merwe said.

He added that theft charges had nevertheless been laid at the Stellenbosch police station and all available footage and photos had been handed in as evidence.

Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that the matter was under investigation.

Attempts to get hold of Rose were fruitless.

Read more on:    earl rose  |  cape town  |  crime
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