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Bob Hewitt's victims to oppose parole application

The former tennis champion was found guilty in 2015 of rape and sexual assault after three women testified that he abused them while he was their tennis coach in the 1980s.

FILE: Former tennis champion Bob Hewitt in court on 23 March 2015. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Bob Hewitt' s victims will be opposing his application for parole after the convicted rapist served just a third of his six-year jail sentence.

The former tennis champion was found guilty in 2015 of rape and sexual assault after three women testified that he abused them while he was their tennis coach in the 1980s.

He started serving his six-year sentence in 2016 at the St Albans Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth after the Constitutional Court denied him the opportunity to appeal his sentence.

Victims have now received notice that he's applying for parole.

Peter van Niekerk, director at the Teddy Bear Clinic and attorney at Eversheds Sutherland, says he'll be opposing the application on their behalf.

“It’s obviously extremely difficult for them. They’ve already had to live through giving difficult testimony and having to be cross-examined. Generally, this is a feeling of huge indignation and outrage throughout.”

The victims of convicted rapist will be given an opportunity to make representations before the parole board before a decision is made about his application.

Van Niekerk adds: “They’ve obviously been given the right to make representations. I will be making written representations on behalf of all of my clients. In due course, I will be appearing personally before the parole board.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)