JOHANNESBURG - Lions defence coach, Joey Mongalo, is scheduled to appear in a Sydney, Australia, court again on Wednesday after being accused of indecently assaulting a female hotel worker in April. The assault is said to have taken place while the Lions were on a Super Rugby tour of Australia in late April.
Mongalo, who became one of head coach Swys de Bruin’s assistants earlier this year following the departure of coaches Johan Ackermann and JP Ferreira to overseas clubs last season, has already had one court appearance on May 9, over the alleged assault in a Coogee hotel. That was three days before the Lions faced the Highlanders in their final tour match.
The incident is said to have happened on Monday evening, April 23, two days after the Lions had beaten the Waratahs 29-0 in their opening tour game. Mongalo, 33, is accused of “indecently assaulting” a 26-year-old female hotel worker at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald a few weeks after the alleged incident, the assault was only reported to police on Friday, April 27 - a day before the Lions suffered a shock loss to the Reds in Brisbane.
The report said Mongalo was arrested and charged the following Thursday, May 3 - two days before the Lions lost to the Hurricanes in Wellington. A statement issued by the Lions in mid-May, after the allegations came to light, said Mongalo intended to defend the allegations against him.
The Lions have said no more except that the matter was being “investigated by the New South Wales police and was before the New South Wales Court System”. Mongalo is believed to have hired a Sydney-based legal team of Anthony Bellanto, QC, as counsel, and Youssef Maksisi, of Maksisi Lawyers, as solicitor.