South African rugby player Roux charged with murder, accused of beating policeman to death

Monday, August 30, 2010

SAfrican player charged in policeman’s slaying

PRETORIA, South Africa — South African rugby union player Bees Roux was charged with murder Monday in the beating death of a policeman in Pretoria.

Roux’s lawyer, Rudi Krause, said during a bail hearing that his client would plead not guilty to killing Sgt. Ntshimane Mogale.

The 28-year-old Roux maintains that his car was being stolen and he was acting in self defense, said Krause, who added that his client’s credit card had been used at a fast-food restaurant after he was placed in custody.

Bail was set at $13,000 and Roux, who had spent the weekend in jail, left court with his family ahead of an Oct. 15 court date at which he was expected enter a plea.

Prosecutors said evidence suggests Roux, who plays for Pretoria’s Blue Bulls and the Super 14 champion Bulls, murdered the 38-year-old Mogale “with his hands.” Mogale’s body was found on a Pretoria street in the early hours of Aug. 27 with injuries to his head.

Roux had been pulled over by Mogale on suspicion of drunken driving. Roux was also charged with that offense.

The court heard that Mogale may have been driving Roux home when an altercation broke out. In an affidavit Krause read in court, Roux, whose full name is Jacobus Stephanus Roux, denied that he attacked Mogale in that way.

While there was no suggestion in court of a racial motive in the killing, Mogale is black and Roux is white, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union called it “racially inspired” in a statement Monday. The union said the dead officer was one of its members.

Racial tension is never far from the surface in South Africa, 16 years after the end of white rule.

Roux has played for the Leopards, Griquas and Blue Bulls teams in South Africa’s domestic Currie Cup rugby competition and had a spell with French club Clermont in 2008.

will not be displayed