Baby Blacks investigated over alleged rape
Cape Town police investigating a rape complaint against at least one member of the "Baby Blacks" New Zealand under 20 team are waiting for results of forensic tests.
Police spokesperson Colonel Vish Naidoo said a 22-year-old Cape Town woman alleged she was raped by at least one of the Baby Black players at a hotel in the city on Friday night.
Hours earlier the team had lost the Junior World Championship final 22-16 to South Africa at Newlands.
Investigators were waiting for the results of forensic testing on evidence they had gathered. That normally took about a month, Col Naidoo said.
Police had questioned various people, but he would not say who.
New Zealand Rugby Union general manager professional rugby Neil Sorensen said an issue had been raised by local police in Cape Town before the New Zealand under 20 team left South Africa.
The team and management complied with local police requirements and cooperated fully and helped with inquiries, after which police advised they were happy for all members of the team to travel home.
“Neither team management, nor NZRU have been contacted by the local authorities since then or advised of any further issues or inquiries. If we are contacted we will cooperate and help in any way we can," Mr Sorensen said.
“The team has just returned from South Africa, and we will discuss the matter further with team management in due course.
“Our understanding of the matter is that the allegation is focused on one player.”
Col Naidoo confirmed police received full cooperation from team management and players.
"We have no doubt whatsoever that we will continue to get that cooperation should the need arise in the future."
Reports from South Africa have said police there were investigating rape charges against four members of the team.
A Southern Sun Hotel Newlands staff member told the New Age newspaper that a 22-year-old woman entered the hotel on Friday evening. She told the front desk that she was going to visit her cousin in one of the rooms.
“But it seems she met the rugby players somewhere earlier, because she knew what rooms they were staying in,” the staff member told the newspaper.
“According to some of my colleagues she was apparently drunk. And on Saturday morning she called her parents to fetch her at the hotel after claims that she was raped.
“Her parents insisted on opening a case of rape. We are not certain that she was raped, but there was blood found on a sheet on a bed. The rugby players left the hotel at 12am on Saturday.”