1 minute read
16 Aug 2013
12:28 pm

Hewitt too ill to attend court

Former tennis doubles champion Bob Hewitt was too ill on Friday to appear in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on charges of rape and indecent assault, the court heard.

The pair had been charged with stock theft. Photo: Supplied

“He (Hewitt) cannot attend due to ill-health. The… medical report handed in specified his state of health,” his lawyer Alwyn Griebenow told the court. The 73-year-old is facing two charges of rape and one of indecent assault. He is accused of molesting young girls he coached decades ago.

He allegedly raped two girls on two separate occasions — one in 1981 in Sun City, North West, and a second in 1982 in Boksburg. Both girls were 16 years old at the time.

“The accused also faces a charge of indecent assault committed in 1994. The victim was a girl aged 18 at the time,” said prosecutor Henk Strydom. Summons was served on Hewitt on June 18. He has denied all the charges.

Griebenow said Hewitt was going through a “tiring period”. “He is an old man and is ill… he has had several operations in the previous years, this is very tiring for him,” said Griebenow outside court.

Hewitt was taking medication for anxiety and depression, and had the full support of his wife, he said. The State had requested the consolidation of the charges against him, and for the matter to be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg.

Griebenow lodged an application with the National Prosecuting Authority to have the trial transferred to Port Elizabeth, where Hewitt now lives. Travelling to Gauteng to attend the case would be too much for his client, the lawyer said.

Magistrate Emmanuel Magampa postponed the matter to October 4. A warrant of arrest issued for Hewitt would be withheld until then, Magampa said.