Just when you think things have hit peak ridiculousness, there’s another twist and turn.
Yesterday, videos emerged showing a man, along with a female accomplice, nicking golf clubs from Stellenbosch Golf Club.
It was widely alleged that the man in the video is Earl Rose, the former professional rugby player who was named in the Springbok squad to face the British and Irish Lions back in 2009.
Once we ran the story (you can see the videos here), we received a call from Earl’s wife, Amor. She told us she is currently in Namibia, and that was not her in the video.
She added that Earl himself was in Cape Town.
We were then alerted to some interesting activity on Earl’s Facebook profile, which included the fact that he was a member of two Facebook groups that facilitate the sale of second-hand golf clubs.
Grant Gainsford, who had his R7 000 club stolen in the incident, also told his story, and further identified the former rugby player as the man in the video.
After all of that, we figured it was up to the police to handle it from here, but then there was a further development.
News24 with the details:
Two golf clubs, one of them dismantled, were returned to the Stellenbosch Golf Club on Thursday by a man who claimed the items were “lost and found”…
Golf club general manager Chris van der Merwe told News24 that the security guard at the main entrance identified the driver who dropped off the clubs on Thursday as “the same person he saw yesterday”.
Gainsford’s driver had been dismantled – only the head was returned and the shaft was missing.
The man claimed he “picked it up” and wanted to return it. When directed to lost and found, he insisted on leaving it with the security guard at the main gate before driving off, Van der Merwe said.
Perhaps the second-hand market for shafts far outstrips the second-hand market for heads?
Despite those efforts to return the clubs, law enforcement is already involved:
[Chris van der Merwe] added that theft charges had nevertheless been laid at the Stellenbosch police station and all available footage and photos had been handed in as evidence.
Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that the matter was under investigation and said no arrests have been made.
As it stands, all efforts to make contact with Rose have been fruitless.
We joked yesterday that somebody might soon edit Rose’s Wikipedia page, as usually happens with these things, and a quick check this morning reveals exactly that.
At the time of writing, the edit below was still live:
No, we had nothing to do it – looks like it requires far too much effort.
I guess it’s now up to the police to take it from here. It would seem to be a pretty straightforward case, but is there really such a thing in South Africa?
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