EL teacher rapped for assault on guard
A Gonubie High School teacher who severely assaulted a security guard at the East London district education department’s Dr WB Rubusana offices in Mdantsane in November 2016 was this week sentenced by the Mdantsane magistrate’s court.
Jeremy Riekert, 30, was on Tuesday sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for four years on condition that he is not again convicted of serious assault during the term of suspension.
Riekert was sentenced after he was convicted earlier this year of seriously assaulting a Nxarhuni security guard, Khayalethu Velezweni, 41, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Velezweni’s jaw was broken in the attack leading to him being hospitalised for a week,
Riekert, who is said to be a trained cage fighter, a kickboxer, and a former rugby player, was also declared unfit to possess a firearm by Mdantsane magistrate Victoria Notile.
Notile also sentenced Riekert to three years correctional supervision and a further 16 hours community service per month for the duration of his sentence.
In passing sentence, Notile said the attack was vicious and Riekert showed no remorse throughout his trial.
Riekert’s sister, Giselle Kirk, speaking on behalf of the family, said they would appeal the sentence which they felt was grossly unfair and too harsh.
The family claimed some of the things Notile said in her sentencing, were untrue.
“In all the evidence presented, there was nothing to support the decision the magistrate has taken.
“We feel she did not understand this matter and hence we will be appealing her decision,” said Kirk.
Numerous attempts to get comment from Riekert and from Gonubie High principal Grethe Botha proved fruitless.
Riekert’s sentence was however on Wednesday confirmed by police spokesperson Captain Nkosikho Mzuku.
Mzuku told the Dispatch that the assault took place on November 2 2016, after a heated altercation between the two when Riekert wanted to force his way into a staff parking lot at the district’s Dr WB Rubusana building in Mdantsane.
Mzuku said Velezweni had wanted to prevent Riekert, who was at the district offices on official business, from parking in a staff parking lot instead of a visitor’s parking lot.
“When he was refused entry into the staff parking lot, he became angry and lost his temper.
“He then punched the security guard numerous times, assaulting him to such an extent that his jaw was broken and required reconstructive surgery,” said Mzuku, who also revealed that Riekert was a trained cage fighter.
In the wake of Riekert’s conviction and sentencing, Velezweni told the Dispatch on Wednesday he was suing “for unnecessary spilling my blood and embarrassing me like that in front of other people”.
Velezweni, a married father of two, said he was still traumatised by the 2016 incident and at times, feels a pounding pain in his head and jaw.
He said on the day of the incident, security guards at the Dr WB Rubusana offices had just received a tongue lashing from senior officials for allowing visitors to park their vehicles in spots demarcated for staff parking.