Bob Hewitt at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko
Bob Hewitt at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Accuser wrote letters to Hewitt

By Naledi Shange Time of article published Feb 12, 2015

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Johannesburg - A woman who has accused former tennis champion Bob Hewitt of rape wrote letters to him, the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, heard on Thursday.

In his evidence-in-chief, Hewitt, 75, testified that a police officer called him in 1981 and told him Theresa Tolken had laid charges of indecent assault against him.

The policeman asked whether he had counter evidence.

Hewitt informed the officer that he had three letters and gifts from Tolken. The gifts were a cross with his name on it and a teddy bear.

Those were handed to the attorney general, said Hewitt. He did not see the letters again.

Tolken had testified that Hewitt wrote three letters to her.

“He would put letters in my tennis racquet bag and tell me he has left something in my bag for me and I am to destroy it when I have read it,” she told the court

Hewitt was handed copies of the letters on Thursday.

One of the letters read: “I can only think you think of me as a sex maniac. I am not.”

Scratching his head, Hewitt testified that he wrote this because Tolken saw him flirting with a few women at Sun City.

“Twiggy (Tolken) had a bit of a fit about it,” said Hewitt. She asked him how he could do that when he had a wife, the court heard.

Another excerpt read: “I am so flat I can't hold you, you are the only one who can lift me up.”

Hewitt said he was referring to his tennis lessons with Tolken, whom he had taken off his squad.

Hewitt said he had hoped to give her lessons again if she changed her attitude.

On Monday, Tolken testified that Hewitt touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex on him 34 years ago, when she was 12.

She alleged that Hewitt made her take off her panties and told her to lie on top of him in the bath. She claimed he tried to put his penis in her.

Tolken later reported the incident to her mother.

The court heard that a case was opened the following day, but was not pursued because, among other things, the case was not opened in the area where the alleged rape - or attempted rape as it was defined in law at the time Ä took place, and out of concern about how she would be treated in court.

The Australian-born Hewitt has pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one of indecent assault arising from allegations by three women he coached in the 1980s and 1990s.

Another of the women, Suellen Sheehan, has testified that Hewitt raped her in 1982 in his car before tennis practice. She was 12-years-old.

A third alleged victim, who may not be named, testified that Hewitt rubbed himself against her back in an inappropriate manner during their private tennis lessons.


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