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Police defuse situation after man allegedly punches cop at the Vodacom Durban July

Hollywoodbets Greyville Race course in Durban. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency/ANA

Hollywoodbets Greyville Race course in Durban. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency/ANA

Published Jul 5, 2021


DURBAN – A former champion jockey and current assistant horse racing trainer who punched a cop at the Vodacom Durban July is expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said police were at the Hollywoodbets Greyville racecourse on Saturday when they saw a man contravening the Disaster Management Act.

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In terms of the regulations, spectators were not allowed at the event. Staff, trainers and jockeys were only allowed in certain areas of the racecourse. There was also a viewing area created for officials.

According to a source, the man had been sitting on the grandstand with his wife.

Father-and-daughter trainers Harold Crawford (left) and Michelle Rix (right) celebrate winning the Vodacom Durban July at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Saturday afternoon with Kommetdieding and jockey Gavin Lerena. Picture: Candiese Lenferna (Gameplan Media)

A security guard allegedly approached him to inform him that he was breaking the law. It is alleged that the man hurled abusive language at the guard and police when they arrived.

The source said the man allegedly dared police to arrest him.

While officials and the police were speaking to him, he ran off.

The source said when the Berea police sergeant caught him, the man allegedly “sucker punched” the officer, splitting his lip and loosening a tooth with the blow.

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The man allegedly fled again.

The source said police had to establish who the man was and, after making several queries, they found him in the parade ring.

Mbele said charges of contravening the Disaster Management Act, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer were being investigated by Berea SAPS. She said the 54-year-old man was placed under arrest.

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Hollywoodbets spokesperson Devin Heffer said Hollywoodbets was not present at the racecourse on Vodacom Durban July day and any incident that happened on course should be taken up with Gold Circle.

Gold Circle spokesperson Andrew Harrison said they could not comment on the matter because the incident was being handled by the Berea SAPS.


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Crime and courts