South African sprinter and Olympic finalist Akani Simbine has been accused of running from his responsibilities for allegedly denying a child he recently fathered.
In an email to The Citizen, an anonymous source from what appears to be someone from Simbine’s inner circle said: “Akani Simbine is now a father and is hiding his son. He and the girl that he has a child from both blocked me when I congratulated them.”
Most notably the allegations made were that Simbine had not been supporting his child: “These are people we look up to. People our kids look up to. We are talking about men being real in our country yet he probably isn’t even a father to his child let alone supports the child,” added the irate source.
Simbine has however cleared the air: “I am really surprised at the false allegations being levelled against me and some of the people closest to me,” said Simbine speaking to The Citizen.
“My family met with the family of my child’s mother, and as a proud father, I have committed to supporting my son, in line with his various needs and requirements. I request that those who are making unfounded allegations cease from interfering in my personal life and the lives of the people close to me,” he concluded.
The child’s mother in question is a woman named Chantelle Hermans, who Simbine had a brief affair with.
Hermans, who was initially very resistant about speaking on the matter, stated: “I have looked through all the allegations and everything being said about Akani and myself. It is very disturbing that someone will go to such lengths to fabricate a story.
“Akani and I do share a child together. Akani has been present from day one and definitely provides for our son,” she added.
“I can not speak for Akani’s relationship as that does not affect me nor my son. I believe that people see Akani and I not together and believe that there needs to be more to the story. There really isn’t. We have a beautiful baby boy together. Both sides of our families know and love him and we are appreciative of that.”
Simbine shot to fame in late 2016, early 2017 as his athletic career picked up. It was during this time that he was also dating news anchor and Moja Love presenter Abigail Visagie.
After the pair quietly broke up in 2018, Simbine moved on to a new relationship Cape Town netball player Jo Prins and according to the source, it was during this time he fathered a child with Hermans.