Johannesburg - The “Black Panther” can take a man out with just one punch, but he opted not to use his fists when police allegedly beat up his fiancée.
On Sunday morning, heavyweight boxer Flo Simba was forced to pick up his fiancée, Leandra Beyers, then push her against a fence so he could use his body to shield her from the blows of several policemen.
He said he couldn’t strike back, as he feared this would result in him losing his boxing licence.
“In the end I had to try to shield her, that is all I could do,” said the professional boxer, who is planning to fight next month.
On Monday, Simba laid a charge of assault against the policemen and is considering legal action.
Simba said he and Beyers had stopped to buy hayfever medication at a pharmacy and then went to a shop in Tulisa Park, across the road from where they live.
He said a police car pulled up behind them and the officers said they wanted to search his vehicle for drugs.
“They started pushing me around. I told them ‘I’m not resisting, you can search me, just stop pushing me’,” Simba said.
He said after the search came up with nothing, an officer wanted him to take off his pants.
“I told them ‘you can’t do that, you can’t disrespect me’,” he said.
He said one of the officers started hitting him at that point. He bent over at the waist and another cop put the boxer’s head between his legs.
Beyers, Simba said, was writing down the names of the officers and taking pictures, which turned the police officers’ attention towards her.
He said the cops then threw away his hayfever medication and pushed and slapped Beyers.
Simba admitted to pushing the officer who he claimed had assaulted Beyers.
The boxer then picked up Beyers, who was on the ground, and walked her towards a nearby gate in the hope of placing her between the gate and himself.
“The officer sprayed me with pepper spray, and it was quite ridiculous the amount of force they were using,” he said.
He said one of the officers handcuffed him to the gate and pulled Beyers away. The officer was “hitting, kicking and punching her all over her face and body”, Simba said.
He said he had suffered some “head trauma”, while Beyers had a broken tooth, a swollen eye and bruising over her body.
“You don’t do that to a woman,” the boxer said.
They were then taken to Moffat View police station, before being transported to Johannesburg Central police station and placed in separate cells.
Simba said they were not told what their alleged crime was.
“We were locked up for drug possession and assault. I really think it doesn’t make sense.”
Moffat View police station spokeswoman Constable Rebecca Bila said Simba had opened a case of assault. She added that the two suspects were arrested for drug possession, interfering with the police and assault.
“Police found white powder in the car, which has been sent to forensics,” said Bila.
They were due to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.