Man breaks his silence on alleged Peter Roebuck assault
Harare, Nov 17: The Zimbabwean man who has accused Peter Roebuck of sexual assault has claimed to be traumatised by the late cricket journalist's alleged ''evil misdeeds''.
Itai Gondo - who claims he thought Roebuck, 55, was a philanthropist and became aware of his prominence in the cricketing world only after his suicide - introduced himself to Roebuck through Facebook, hoping to receive assistance for his university studies.
The 26-year-old claimed he contacted the former England batsman after a friend told him about a property that Roebuck had established in Pietermaritzburg, to house and educate poor students.
But Gando told a freelance journalist in Cape Town that Roebuck molested him when they met in the commentators room at the Southern Sun hotel in Newlands in Cape Town on November 7. Five days later, Roebuck threw himself to his death from the window of the same room after police visited him over the alleged assault.
''I was so shocked I couldn't fight him off and it makes me feel like a sissy and a pushover. This man took advantage of me,'' Gando told Mike Behr.
''He preyed on the fact that I was reaching out to him and trusted him and he did this to me.''
Gando, who said he had not received any money for telling his story, claims he took his allegations to the police because he believed Roebuck might have assaulted other men.
The Zimbabwean said he was receiving counseling. In the days after the alleged incident, Gando sent a Facebook message to Roebuck in which he referred to him as ''Mr Molester''.
He wrote: ''To lure me and pretend you were interested in forming some father like relationship, yet you intention was to do the sick, pervert disgusting things you did to me? Well roebuck, you can stuff whatever form of support you blatantly faked to be interested in.''
He added: ''I don't need your assistance, I don't shake hands with devil, don't bother replying for I will block you after this message.''
It is claimed that after their meeting Roebuck had emailed Gando, asking: ''Worried bout u, hope u ok''.
The Herald has been unable to verify whether that message was sent from Roebuck's Facebook account or computer.
Gando told the journalist the pair talked for two hours before the alleged assault. The part-time IT student said the alleged attack ended when his mobile phone rang.
''He kept apologising and all I wanted to do was get the hell out of that place,'' Gando said.
He claimed to have received a message from Roebuck before their meeting in which the Herald columnist and ABC broadcaster wrote: ''ok my boy, bring stick in case I need to beat you!''
In 2001 Roebuck was convicted of common assault for caning three 19-year-old South African cricketers on the buttocks after they broke ''house rules'' while staying with him.
The second Test between South Africa and Australia began last night in Johannesburg, where the ABC commentary team paid tribute to their colleague. Roebuck would have been writing columns for Fairfax Media and commentating for ABC Radio alongside Jim Maxwell, who spoke of his friend's ''remarkable gift of language'', his self-deprecation, and his ''downright contrariness''.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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