Judge Bert Bam postponed the matter to May 18 following a request by Hewitt’s lawyers. The judge also extended Hewitt’s R10,000 bail. Hewitt’s representative said they were awaiting a criminologist report which they would present to court in mitigation of sentence.
Numerous rights activists were at the court on Friday, calling for Hewitt’s imprisonment. Advocacy group Women and Men Against Child Abuse said Hewitt’s sentence should be exemplary.
“We want him to have direct imprisonment because anything other than that would be a shame considering that he has not shown any remorse,” said the organisation’s operations director Vincentia Dlamini.
“He has been very arrogant despite everything that has happened to the young women. The court should show that regardless of much money, fame and power – you are not bigger than the law.”
Dlamini said her organisation was in touch and giving support to the victims. She said the Hewitt conviction was a trendsetter for the South African justice system.
“This is actually an iconic case. It speaks to a lot of women, men and all people who have been violated even in cases where there is no medical evidence to support their cases. This cases says there is hope if you speak out about it, ” said Dlamini.
The courtroom was packed on Friday as Judge Bam walked in to begin the sentencing procedures.
Hewitt sat intently, with his left hand clutching his chin. After the postponement, Hewitt remained in the dock, talking on his cellphone. Several journalists and activists were in court.
Hewitt, a former Grand Slam tennis champion, was found guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault by the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge in March.
Australian-born Hewitt was on trial for raping two of his former students Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken and Suellen Sheehan in the 1980s, and the sexual assault of a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s.