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SCA reserves judgment in Bob Hewitt rape case

The former tennis champion was found guilty on two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault last year.

FILE: Bob Hewitt at the Palm Ridge magistrates court on 23 March 2015. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has reserved judgment on convicted rapist Bob Hewitt's six-year sentence appeal, after justices heard submissions from both legal teams in Bloemfontein.

The former tennis champion was found guilty on two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault last year, after three women testified that he abused them while he was their tennis coach in the 1980s.

Hewitt's legal team has argued that the sentence did not take into account his age, the time elapsed since the crimes and the fact that he stopped assaulting one victim when she said it was painful.

But Woman and Men Against Child Abuse says the Justices continuously pointed out that the High Court's sentence took his age into account and that the sentence was fair and in fact lenient.

Spokesperson Miranda Friedmann says she is confident that the Justices will rule that he should serve the time, taking the rape of young children very seriously throughout their comments today.

"We felt that they are keen to uphold and send a very strong message out that child rape is not going to be a crime you can get away with in South Africa because of your age or your health."