DURBAN - A Metro policeman is at the centre of a row which developed when a golf game turned into a boxing match at the Athlone golf club last weekend.
A video of the fight between the group of belligerent men and officials from the club has since gone viral.
Metro police have condemned the behaviour of the policeman.
Superintendent Steve Middleton, acting head of metro police, said; “We do not know the circumstances, but we condemn any such action where our members are involved, on- or off-duty.
“There is no need to go to such lengths to try to prove a point or prove your masculinity in this sense. So we condemn this in the strongest terms.”
Athlone Club has distanced itself from the incident.
Club vice president Lou Zietsman apologised to members of the Pink Ladies Golf School after the group of men had initially sworn at them.
A member of the school, who asked not to be named, said they had booked to play at the club but when they arrived, their booking had not been captured.
“We had also booked a cart, but we were told no booking times had been allocated. We were asked to play off the 10th tee and we would be advised of the situation upon our turn.”
The group of eight women then split into two teams of four.
“Halfway through, we were asked if we wouldn’t mind playing the same nine again and we obliged. I was at the 12th hole and received a call from one of our members who told me a group of men had been verbally harassing them. I told her to continue with their game and not let it affect them,” she said.
One woman, who had allegedly been sworn at by the group of men, claimed that the men accused them of cutting into their competition time.
“A man told us to f**k off and said we should go and cook in the kitchen. Two officials from Athlone came to speak to them and they were also sworn at and threatened.
“We tried to continue playing but when I hit my ball, they shouted that they were going to hurt us. We backed off and once we passed them, one of their members apologised for his teammates’ behaviour,” the woman said.
The first group of women had finished their round and went to the upper deck to total their scores.
“While we were at the top, we heard a commotion below and it was the same group of men. I grabbed my phone and started recording. The women these men had initially attacked were finishing their game and were unaware of this fight that had now broken out.
“I contacted a local security company as I felt we were not safe and they sent two cars to escort us out of the grounds. As we passed this group, the men swore at us,” the woman said.
In a letter to the women, Zietsman said after hearing about the incident, he went to speak to the course marshal to get more information.
“After speaking to the marshal, one of the guys in question came across and started verbally abusing him in a totally unacceptable manner. He made a few accusations and told me to mind my own f***ing business.
“He said I had no business in trying to find out about the earlier incident with the women.
“The whole incident got out of hand when some other golfers tried to calm things down, and it ended on a very aggressive note with fists flying. The two main instigators carried on swearing,” Zietsman said.
He claimed that one man said he had no problem hitting a woman.
Zietsman said the club was proud of the camaraderie shared there and that golf should be played in a friendly environment free of discrimination of any nature whatsoever.
The video has been shared more than 100 times with more than 280 comments on Facebook. Comments include:
Mahesh Visram: “Shocking behaviour from adults, understandable a punch was thrown and the attacker was given one back, but it should have ended there, but those wit picks just had to keep provoking.”
Bradley Dorasamy said: “No matter what happened... you don’t use your hands. There’s a way on how to handle a situation. Thirdly, you treat women with respect. We all are frustrated and we need to control our anger.”