Cape Town - Lions defence coach Joey Mongalo will face an internal disciplinary hearing after he was found guilty of indecent assault and 'sentenced' by a Sydney court this week.
The charge relates to an incident on the Lions' tour of Australia in April 2018 when Mongalo was accused of indecently assaulting a Sydney hotel worker after the Johannesburg franchise had played the Waratahs.
The nature of the sentence was not revealed in any of the media reports, but Mongalo is expected to appeal both his conviction and the undisclosed sentence.
Mongalo, 34, appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Wednesday this week, where Magistrate K Thompson sanctioned the franchise’s defence guru after he was found guilty the week prior (April 12).
Details had emerged during the trail of Mongalo forcing a hotel employee at Crown Plaza Hotel in Coogee Beach to touch him in an untoward manner.
The court also heard that CCTV footage revealed that Mongalo and the employee had interacted on at least two occasions at a hotel counter before the incident.
Mongalo will now be subjected to an internal disciplinary hearing, according to Lions Rugby Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli.
According to the Rugby365 website, in a formal statement, the Lions stated: “The Lions Rugby Company, in consideration of the court ruling handed down in the matter of Joey Mongalo, hereby confirms that it respects the judicial processes of the Australian Government and the subsequent court ruling in this matter,” the statement said.
“The Lions Rugby Company considers misconduct related to Assault with the Act of Indecency, particularly serious and a direct violation of Lions Rugby Company values and culture.
“The Lions Rugby Company will follow the normal internal disciplinary processes regarding the matter.”
Straeuli made it clear there will be “no further comment” on the matter until the Code of Conduct process has concluded.
The incident is the latest in a string of disruptions for the Lions who have struggled in Super Rugby this season, having reached the final the previous three tournaments.
The Lions' opening tour match on their current Australasian tour against the Brumbies in Canberra last weekend ended in a 31-20 defeat, leaving them bottom of the South African Conference and ninth in the Overall standings at the halfway mark in the season.
The Lions are currently playing the Chiefs and face a tough assignment against the Crusaders next Friday, April 26 (09:35 SA time) to conclude their tour.
During the week it was also confirmed that coach Swys de Bruin has headed home to South Africa for undisclosed "personal reasons".
That revelation followed hot on the heels of news that star wing Courtnall Skosan had also returned home to attend to his gravely ill father.
15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Angus Ta'avao
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Shaun Stevenson
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Frans Van Wyk, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Ruan Combrinck