Weekend in jail for Blue Bull
Pretoria - Super 14-winning rugby player Bees Roux has been involved in an incident that left a police officer dead, his Blue Bulls team said Friday.
The 28-year-old prop from South Africa is in custody at the Sunnyside police station in Pretoria, just blocks from Loftus Versfeld where some of his teammates will play for South Africa in Saturday's Tri-Nations test against Australia.
Quoting police, the South African Press Association later named the policeman as 38-year-old Ntshimane Johannes Mogale.
The Blue Bulls said they had no more information about the events involving Roux, who also plays for the Bulls, winners of the 2010 Super 14 rugby competition.
"It has come to the Blue Bulls' attention that Bees Roux has allegedly been involved in an incident involving a metro policeman last night in Pretoria," the Blue Bulls said in a statement. "We do not have any factual information at this stage, but have been informed that the policeman passed away. We are not in a position to make any further comments in this regard."
Police spokesman Lt. Col. Eugene Opperman told The Associated Press that police pulled over a vehicle in Pretoria early Friday morning.
"In the altercation that followed a policeman was severely beaten and has died," Opperman said.
Opperman said a male suspect had been arrested and will be charged with murder.
Police spokeswoman Capt. Katlego Mogale (no relation to the policeman) said the suspect will appear at the Hatfield Community Court on Monday and is then likely to be sent to Pretoria Magistrates Court to be charged "because Hatfield does not deal with serious crimes like murder."
Neither would give the suspect's name.
The incident happened "after officers had apparently apprehended a member of the public for alleged drunken driving at around 2am," member of the city's mayoral committee on community safety Dikeledi Lehobye said, according to SAPA.
"The department views this incident in a serious light. For us, the loss of one member is one loss too many," Lehobye said.
Lehobye also said police had spoken to two other officers, who are thought to have witnessed the events, but they were too traumatized to provide clarity on what had happened.
Mogale, who was married with children, had been with Pretoria's metro police for four years.
Earlier, Roux's lawyer, Ernst Serfontein, said he had yet to consult with the player, and was seeking a bail hearing. He declined to give any more details.
Emergency service spokesman Chris Botha said paramedics found the critically injured policeman lying on a street in the Hatfield area of Pretoria, near where Roux is currently being held.
The officer died soon after of extensive injuries, Botha said.
"It obviously came as a huge shock to us. We are not allowed to talk about it because anything we say can affect the case," Blue Bulls spokesman Ian Schwartz said. "We need to leave it now to the lawyers and the police."
Roux was on the bench for the Bulls in their Super 14 final victory over the Stormers in May. He has also played for the Blue Bulls in this season's Currie Cup _ South Africa's domestic rugby competition _ and last appeared in a game against Griquas on Aug. 20.
He had not been included in the Blue Bulls team for Friday's Currie Cup game against the Pumas in the northern city of Nelspruit.