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New twist to Roebuck's death probe

Last updated on: November 20, 2011 15:39 IST

New twist to Roebuck's death investigation



In a new twist to the inquest into Peter Roebuck's death, forensic experts will investigate whether the DNA samples taken from a bedsheet match that of the celebrated cricket writer who was facing allegations of sexual assault before committing suicide.

- Former Somerset captain and writer Roebuck dead at 55

- Police confirm Peter Roebuck committed suicide

The 55-year-old Roebuck, who is believed to have jumped to death from the sixth floor of his hotel room in Cape Town, is alleged to have left DNA on to a bedspread while attempting to have sex with Zimbabwean man Itai Gondo.

Gondo had lodged a sexual assault complaint against Roebuck and forensic analysis will ascertain whether the samples match Roebuck's DNA, the Herald Sun reported.

The 26-year-old IT student, Gondo accused Roebuck of playing mind games and said the journalist was "the architect of his own demise".

"As far as I am concerned he took his own life because he didn't want to face the law," he told a South African newspaper.

"He didn't want to face up to what he did. So it's not my problem. He is the architect of his own demise," said Gondo, who was taken to a Cape Town hospital by South African police after Roebuck's death to collect his DNA and blood samples.

Gondo said he was having nightmares and felt suicidal and shared the whole incident with a friend.

"The more I thought through it, I realised I wanted my day in court so I could move on," he said.

"I kept thinking if I keep quiet what if he does the same thing to another guy? Then I'm going to regret it knowing that I could have stopped this person in his tracks.

"I was feeling suicidal. I was hiding out in my room. I couldn't eat and was having nightmares. In desperation I messaged a very good friend in New York who is like a big brother and told him what had happened.

"I told him I feel violated as a man...that I was shocked I couldn't fight him off and it makes me feel like a sissy and a pushover.

"This man took advantage of me. He preyed on the fact that I was reaching out to him and trusted him and he did this to me," he added.

Image: Peter Robuck


'He just wanted to see people's dreams come true; he was a father to us'

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Gondo, who deactivated his Facebook account following Roebuck's death, had written a final private message to the celebrated journalist on the day he committed suicide.

The message read: "It's funny how you ask me how I am doing as if what you did to me you find that justifiable?

"So that was your intention all along? To lure me and pretend you were interested in forming some father-like relationship, yet your intention was to do the sick, pervert disgusting thing you did to me?

"Well Mr Roebuck, you can stuff whatever form of support you blatantly faked to be interested in. You have greatly humiliated me and I feel very violated, disgusted with myself, your acts were of the purest, sickest kind.

"It makes sense why you pretend to help out orphans, whilst you prey on their financial difficulty for your perverted satisfaction.

"I shudder to even think what sick sex-related things you're doing to those 17 boys staying with you!

"I don't need your assistance, I don't shake hands with the devil, don't bother replying for I will block you after this message.

"One day the long arm of the law will catch up with your evil misdeeds, rest assured, then all the money in the world won't save you.

"Goodbye, Mr Molester and good riddance!"

However, one of several young men whom Roebuck supported in his adult orphanage in South Africa, Tatenda Chadya, said the claims made by Gondo were unbelievable.

"He just wanted to see people's dreams come true. He was a father to us," Chadya, who is one of 16 students Roebuck took into his home in Pietermaritzburg, was quoted as saying in the Timeslive.

A former caretaker at Roebuck's house, Andrew Dickason said: "All of us are shocked and saddened. He was a really nice guy, his kindness was an inspiration."

Image: Peter Roebuck

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