Cape Town - Former Lions defence coach Joey Mongalo has been acquitted on a charge of sexually assaulting an Australian woman.
The woman was an employee of a Sydney hotel where the Lions stayed during their Super Rugby tour of Australia in 2018.
Mongalo was convicted by a local Sydney court earlier this year and fined A$2 000 (R20 000), but decided to appeal the finding.
On Friday, the New South Wales District Court set aside Mongalo’s earlier conviction.
Mongalo told Rapport newspaper that the matter was now settled and he could return home to rebuild his life.
‘I said from the beginning that I did not commit an offence,’ he added.
‘In the same breath, to be involved in something like this, runs counter to the values ??I aspire to live every day.’
Mongalo was a prominent junior player and represented the Blue Bulls age group teams, playing mainly as a flyhalf.
He went on to play senior rugby for the Bulls, but was never able to cement a spot at the top level.
The Lions will open their 2020 Super Rugby campaign with a tough away clash against the Jaguares in Argentina on Saturday, February 1.
Official statement: Successful appeal pic.twitter.com/NNAT8KNKW1— Joey Mongalo (@Joeymongalo) December 23, 2019