Orlando Pirates star player faces assault charges after Phomolong incident

Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Police arrested a prominent national soccer star on an assault charge on February 26.

Thabo Matlaba, who plays for Orlando Pirates, is alleged to have committed the crime in Phomolong Section in November last year.

Rabie Ridge SAPS communications officer Captain Mofana Masela said Matlaba was expected to make his first court appearance on February 27.

The soccer star is facing a case of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

Masela said is it alleged that on November 11, 2017, at about 11.30pm, Thabo Matlaba invited his friend to join him in Phomolong, from where Matlaba took the friend to Kwamashaya.

It is claimed that Matlaba’s girlfriend arrived at the tavern and a fight ensued between Thabo’s friend and Thabo’s girlfriend.

“The complainant in the case, who was also at the tavern, alleges she tried to separate Thabo’s friend and Thabo’s girlfriend to stop them from fighting,” said Masela.

Masela said the complainant told Thabo’s friend to leave.

According to the complainant, Matlaba attacked her, hitting her with his fists and kicking her to the ground.

“The complainant sustained serious injuries to the face and allegedly some of her ribs were also broken.”

Matlaba was arrested and charged and was supposed to make his first appearance at the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on February 27.

“A case was opened by Kagiso SAPS and transferred to Rabie Ridge SAPS. The suspect was arrested on February 26 in the evening,” Masela explained.

But according to Masela, the case was never placed on the court roll as some of the information was incomplete.

“There is a case of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm against Thabo Matlaba. He was taken to court on the morning of February 27.

“The case couldn’t be placed on the roll because of a lack of certain important information, so it was sent back to detectives at Rabie Ridge SAPS for further investigation and to complete the information required by the court,” Masela confirmed.

“Police will take the case back to the Tembisa court for a new date. The suspect and the witnesses will be informed about the developments regarding the first appearance and trial.” he said.

  AUTHOR
Jantji Ngwenyama
Journalist

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