Woman says Thabo Matlaba moered her
Orlando Pirates captain Thabo Matlaba is accused of repeatedly punching a woman and breaking her ribs in a bloody tavern brawl in Tembisa.
But justice has been slow for Naledi Shuping since Matlaba's court case in November as police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) contradict each other about what actually happened .
Police told Sunday World that the case was struck off the roll after the court hearing last year, but the NPA has denied this.
The violent altercation that put Shuping in hospital, according to an affidavit seen by Sunday World, occurred at about midnight on Friday, November 11 outside Masingi tavern in Phomolong section.
The former Bafana Bafana defender was arrested on November 26 and appeared in the Tembisa Magistrate's Court, but the case was struck off the roll, police said.
Rabie Ridge police spokesman Captain Mofana Masela confirmed the revered footie was arrested last year for GBH (grievous bodily harm) but the case was struck off the roll.
"We can confirm that a woman by the name of Naledi Shuping opened a case of assault GBH against Thabo Matlaba.
"She said Matlaba punched her in the face and kicked her in the body.
"He was arrested on November 26 and charged with assault-GBH. He appeared in the Tembisa Magistrate's Court on November 27 and the case was struck off the roll," Masela said.
Masela said the police were not told why the case was struck off the roll.
NPA South Gauteng spokeswoman Phindi Louw Mjonondwane disputed the police's claims.
"This matter was only brought to court on Tuesday this week and the prosecutor told the investigating team to go deal with certain aspects of the case before he could decide wether or not to prosecute."
In the affidavit, Shuping related what happened.
"She said she was with her cousin, Oageng, at another popular watering hole when the latter got a call from Matlaba.
"He asked them to join him and his friends at Masingi's tavern in Phomolong.
"They drove over in Oageng's car.
"While at the tavern, Thabo's girlfriend, Tebatso, arrived and started fighting with Oageng," read the statement.
Shuping alleged that she asked Oageng to jump into their car to avoid the dangerous situation that was developing.
She alleged that Matlaba punched her in the face with his fists and she fell to the ground. Matlaba then kicked her on her upper body, the affidavit said, and broke her ribs.
Shuping said Matlaba's friend phoned the police, who came and escorted them out of the township.
Matlaba's only response was to say: "I have no comment on the matter as it had nothing to do with me.
"Please speak to my lawyer."
Matlaba's lawyer, Vusi Mahlangu of SV Mahlangu Attorneys, said he was unable to comment as he had not studied the docket.
"But I can confirm that Thabo Matlaba was with friends in November and there was an altercation but as to what happened, I really don't know and therefore it would be difficult for me to comment," Mahlangu said.
Orlando Pirates spokesman Floyd Mbele also declined to comment and referred us back to Matlaba.
"He should be the one commenting on the matter."
Brawl not inside bar
Masingi tavern owner Eric Masingi has confirmed that a brawl involving Orlando Pirates skipper Thabo Matlaba took place last year.
"It happened just outside the yard of Thabo's friend, Mashaya, not in my tavern. They came here with their cooler box full of alcohol, erected a tent outside Mashaya's house and started drinking. That is where the incident happened, not here," he said.
Masingi said although the incident happened in November, the police have not yet questioned him about the fight.
Mashaya, real name Thabo Luvuno, confirmed the incident outside his yard but denied that Matlaba assaulted Naledi Shuping.
"It was Shuping and Oageng [see main story] who fought each other but I don't know why they did so. Matlaba then took Oageng and went inside the yard with her where he gave her her asthma pump as she suffered an attack during the incident and was struggling to breathe.
"After that I told them to leave and they left. Matlaba never assaulted anyone," Luvuno said. "I have not been contacted by any police officer, nothing. I'm still waiting.
"What I know is that Matlaba told me yesterday [on Wednesday] that police contacted him and told him they were still working on this case."