Roebuck ‘fondled and kissed’ Mugabe apologist
By Buyekezwa Makwabe and Shanaaz Eggington
HARARE- A Zimbabwean government adviser has made startling claims about sexual advances he endured as the favourite “adopted” son of cricket writer Peter Roebuck. Psychology Maziwisa, 28, a lawyer, broke his silence just over six weeks after Roebuck died under mysterious circumstances in Cape Town.
Roebuck fell from his hotel room window as police were about to arrest him on charges of indecently assaulting Zimbabwean student Itai Gondo.
Maziwisa admitted, in a tell-all interview published at the weekend by the Sydney Morning Herald, that Roebuck – who paid for his university education in KwaZulu-Natal – had fondled and kissed him passionately.
Maziwisa and other young men, who were “adopted” by the cricketer and lived at his home in Pietermaritzburg, initially described him as a caring father figure. But now details have emerged of how he beat them with a black plastic tube on their bare buttocks.
Maziwisa was a 16-year-old pupil at St Joseph’s Orphanage in Harare when he met Roebuck in 1999. There, he claimed, the former county cricketer kissed him passionately. He said he accepted the “affection and sexual interest” because he “had to look at the bigger picture” – his mother had died and his father was begging on the streets.
Roebuck paid for his schooling and, later, his father’s funeral. Maziwisa later headed the home in Pietermaritzburg where other young men stayed, thanks to the cricket writer’s financial support. It was there, in 2005, that Roebuck declared his true feelings as they sat on a bed, claimed Maziwisa.
“He looked me in the eye … by that time he had his hands in my pants … he said: ‘Look Captain, I have got something to tell you. I hope you are comfortable with it. I have been meaning to tell you I love you. He was hugging me and putting me by his chest, feeling me. I think that day he was ready to have sex with me, had I agreed, but I did not and told him so.”
Maziwisa this week spoke briefly to the Sunday Times. “As you will understand I am just a little bit reluctant to share any further information,” he said. “There is stuff that is out there that I’ve already said, you could just use that.”
Roebuck ended the friendship with Maziwisa after he started working for the government in Zimbabwe.
In a tribute to Roebuck, published three days after his death, Maziwisa called him “a caring man in a league of his own who believed in the simple truth that everyone deserves a chance”. He said the 55-year-old had 35 Zimbabwean youths in his “capable care” at the time of his death.
Maziwisa was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying Roebuck spared him the humiliation of being caned on his bare buttocks. Roebuck told him: “All these other guys, I cane them on their naked buttocks, but I’ll not do that to you, I respect you. You are my number one, I started with you.”
Tatenda Chadya, a law graduate who lived under Roebuck’s roof since 2005, this week said Roebuck was “a kind and caring person who devoted his hard-earned life savings to create opportunities and hopes in the lives of many students.” He poured cold water on the claims made by Maziwisa.
“In all the years that I have stayed with him I did not hear or see anything of that [sexual] nature,” he told the Sunday Times.
George van Niekerk, a director at the law firm instructed by Roebuck’s family to uncover the facts around his death and wind up his estate, said on Friday that the family denied reports of a rift between them and Roebuck. Sunday Times