Well-known athletics coach suspended following rape allegations

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Photo: lawrenceparkhealth.com
A well-known athletics coach in Bloemfontein, Steven Swartz, has been placed on precautionary suspension from the multiple positions he holds within the Free State sporting fraternity.  This as Swartz has appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court over an alleged rape incident.

The MEC of Sports, Arts, Culture, and Recreation in the province, Mathabo Leeto, announced in a statement that while she believes the law must take its course regarding the allegations, she has decided to suspend Swartz from the positions of Deputy President of Athletics in the Free State, board member of the Free State Sport Confederation and the Commissioner in the Free State Academy of Sport.

Leeto says the sensitivity of the matter and the environment in which the alleged rape occurred, played a role in her decision to bar Swartz from carrying out his duties in these positions to which the MEC “appointed him directly or indirectly”.

Swartz is being accused of raping a 21-year-old female athlete he was training. Police spokesperson, Lorraine Earle, says the incident occurred on Monday June 25, at the athletic field of a school he normally uses for training purposes. The accused is alleged to have penetrated the victim using his finger while giving her a deep massage. She reported the incident to the police the next day. Earle says Swartz was arrested by the police on Friday, June 29, for the rape following investigations. He appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court thereafter and was released on R1000 bail.

Spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the province, Phaladi Shuping, told OFM News Swartz re-appeared in the Magistrate’s court last week, where the matter was postponed to September 5, 2018, for more investigations.

The Free State Sports, Arts, Culture, and Recreation Department spokesperson, Tankiso Zola, declined to comment further on the matter, adding it must be left to the courts.

Olebogeng Motse / OFM News