Port Elizabeth – Former tennis champion and convicted rapist Bob Hewitt handed himself over to police at St Albans Correctional Facility in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, said non-profit organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse.
Hewitt is expected to start his six-year jail team following the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of his appeal.
“This is no holiday camp, this is a proper prison and it is the punishment he deserves for his crimes. He did everything he could to evade justice, today proves that he couldn’t,” said WMACA’s director Miranda Friedmann in a statement.
“I hope this acts as some comfort and some small victory for those who suffered at his hands,” she said.
In an audio provided to News24 by WMACA, one of Hewitt’s victims, Twiggy Tolken, said his arrest served as a good lesson for other people.
“Maybe he is old but don’t forget that when this happened to me I was 12 years and it is something I will never forget… the accused has tried anything and everything at his disposal to stay out of jail,” she said.
In March last year, High Court Judge Bert Bam found the 76-year-old guilty of raping two women. He had coached them in the 1980s when they were teenagers.
In May, Bam sentenced Hewitt to eight years for each the rapes.
Two years of each sentence were suspended for two years, provided he paid an amount on each count towards a Department of Justice programme to combat the abuse of women and children.
In the 1990s, he coached another teenage girl – who may not be named – and he was sentenced to two years for indecently assaulting her. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, meaning he got in effect six years.
Hewitt took the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
The court dismissed the matter, saying Hewitt had abused his position of authority when he raped two young women and indecently assaulted the third.
It dismissed his appeal to have his six-year jail sentence overturned, and said his fame did not earn him special treatment. Hewitt then approached the Constitutional Court.