JOHANNESBURG - Lions Rugby Union defence coach, Joey Mongalo, has reportedly been accused by a female Sydney hotel worker of indecently assaulting her while the team were on tour of Australasia recently.
A report in Wednesday's Sydney Morning Herald states Mongalo has already appeared in court over the alleged assault in Coogee four weeks ago. The incident is said to have happened on Monday evening, April 23, two days after the Lions had beaten the Waratahs 29-0.
Mongalo, 33, apparently “indecently assaulted” a 26-year-old female hotel worker at the Crowne Plaza hotel. According to the report, the assault was only reported to police on the Friday, April 27 – a day before the Lions suffered a shock loss to the Reds in Brisbane.
The report further states he was arrested and charged the following Thursday, May 3 – two days before the Lions lost to the Hurricanes in Wellington. Mongalo is said to have appeared in court in Sydney last Wednesday – three days before the team faced the Highlanders in their final tour match – and is due to appear again on June 20.
A statement issued by the Lions on Wednesday said Mongalo intends to defend the allegation made against him.
CEO of the Lions Rudolf Straeuli flew out of Joburg on Thursday, April 26 to meet the team abroad; but no reasons were given for the franchise boss flying out to Australia, other than “he was always due to join the team on tour”.
The Lions have said no more other than they are aware of the allegation made against Mongalo – who won the national U-20 championship with the Lions team last year – and won’t say any more seeing that the matter is being handled by the New South Wales Police and is before the New South Wales Court System.
The Lions are due to play the Brumbies at Ellis Park this weekend. It is not yet known whether Mongalo is still involved in the team’s day to day activities.