Pumas player arrested for pointing gun

Wilmaure Louw.

MBOMBELA – A member of the Steval Pumas rugby team spent a night in the holding cells at the local police station after allegedly pointing a firearm and tossing bricks at two men during a night out in the city. He is being charged with the pointing of a firearm after the alleged incident on 31 March.

Wilmaure Louw, the team’s outside centre, sustained a fractured jaw during a game against Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versveld earlier that day, but that did not prevent him from going out that night.

He was at Legends, a club in the CBD at about 02:30. He apparently engaged in a heated conversation with Mr Gabby de Oliveira when the latter arrived at the club with his friends. The conversation escalated into an argument and the two men decided to “take it outside”.

“When we arrived in the parking lot, he (Louw) darted to his vehicle, pulled out a handgun and pointed it to my face,” De Oliveira said. “I told him I’m not going to fight him since he had a gun, so he shoved it into his pants and said, ‘okay then, fight me like a man’. I refused because of the gun.”

Louw allegedly removed the firearm from his pants and wielded it in the air. At this point De Oliveira turned and ran. He said he heard “maybe five or six gunshots” as he was running away.

A few of his friends were also there but they ran away, leaving De Oliveira and his other friend, Mr Wesley Solomons to fend for themselves. According to De Oliveira, Louw shoved the firearm in Solomons’ mouth at one point. “We also heard bricks land around us and saw that Louw and his friends were throwing them at us,” De Oliveira said.

Mr Terrence Chengan, co-owner of Legends, said Hi-Tech Guards arrived and broke up the fight. “Everyone who was involved in the fight will be banned from the club,” he said. Chengan could not confirm whether any shots had been fired.

After De Oliveira had laid charges of attempted murder against Louw on Tuesday, police searched the Puma’s vehicle and apparently found a black gas gun. “That was not the gun he waved around at me,” De Oliveira insisted. “That gun was smaller and silver and he shot at me so it couldn’t be that gun.”

Louw was arrested and taken to Mbombela Police Station before he appeared in court.

Mr Pieter Burger, executive director of the Mpumalanga Rugby Union, said disciplinary steps would be taken, depending on the outcome of the court proceedings. “We have faith in the South African justice system and trust the law will take its due course.”

Louw was released on warning and the case against him postponed until April 13.

Marinette Potgieter

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