Cougar hit: Deon Helberg and mom speak out


Deon Helberg fell into the trap of a 44-year-old woman when he was just 17 and isn’t nearly as spontaneous as he used to be. He thinks carefully before he speaks but his mom isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. (Photo: Deon and his girlfriend of the past two years, Kami.)

Her son’s life was derailed the day the woman he still calls Tannie Manda developed more than a motherly interest in him, Marlene Helberg (44) says.

Now 22, Deon’s promising rugby career – he used to play for the Blue Bulls and was a Sevens Springbok – is just one of the things that has been damaged by Amanda Reyneke’s sexual obsession with him.

“But his career has suffered the most. We knew we couldn’t approach other unions for a contract before the court case had been completed. Things didn’t go well for him. He suffered but he got back on his feet and picked up the pieces.”

YOU’s Danél Blaauw talked to Deon and Marlene about life after Tannie Manda. Read more in YOU 1 December 2011.

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