JOHANNESBURG, 20 JUNE: Former Grand Slam tennis doubles champion Bob Hewitt (in photo) has been served a summons to appear in a South African court and face charges following allegations he sexually abused young girls he coached decades ago, prosecutors told The Associated Press today.
South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority said the summons had been served on the 73-year-old Hewitt on Saturday. Hewitt was ordered to appear at Boksburg Magistrate’s Court near Johannesburg on 16 August, when he would learn what criminal charges he faced. The NPA would not say what the charges against Hewitt were. NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw said Hewitt, who is believed to live in the town of Addo on South Africa’s south coast, would be informed of the charges when he appeared in court.
Hewitt has been at the centre of a long investigation into accusations he abused and raped girls as far back as the 1970s and through to the 1990s.
Recognised as one of the greatest doubles players of all time and a winner of 15 Grand slam doubles titles, the Australian-born Hewitt was indefinitely suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame last year owing to the allegations. When contacted by the AP today, a man who identified himself on the telephone as Hewitt said he had no knowledge of any charges. "I think it is best you call me in a month or so," he said, before declining further comment. agencies