Last week, a police investigator and a uniformed officer visited the South African hotel room of 55-year-old Peter Roebuck—a former Australian cricket player, longtime sports commentator and author—to question him about the alleged sexual assault of 26-year-old Ital Gondo. Shortly after police left, Roebuck called a fellow cricket writer for a lawyer and then leapt 70 feet to his death, hitting his head on awning on the way down—he died at the scene.
Gondo claims that Roebuck “groomed” him via Facebook, invited him to his hotel room and then sexually assaulted him. Shortly after the police left, Roebuck phoned fellow cricket journalist Jim Maxwell to find a lawyer and to contact a group of underprivileged boys he had been supporting near his South African home. Roebuck looked after a group of mostly Zimbabwean young men who he helped by getting them jobs, coaching gigs, and paying for their educations. According to Gondo, Roebuck called the boys “sons” and they called him “dad.”
The unmarried cricket journalist had been given a suspended sentence in 2001 for caning three teens across their bare butts with a cane. Police have since searched Roebuck’s hotel room for DNA evidence of the alleged assault on Gondo and have also confiscated Roebuck’s computer. They will now question 16 of the young men looked after by Roebuck to see what corroborating evidence their testimony yields.