Mystery over Roebuck's death

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Published: Monday, November 14, 2011, 11:04 [IST]
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Roebuck questioned on sexual assault

Cape Town, Nov 14: Peter Roebuck, well-known cricket journalist covering the ongoing test series between Australia and South Africa, committed suicide after being reportedly questioned by the police on allegations of sexual assault on Saturday night outside his hotel, a few minutes from the Newlands cricket ground in Capetown, South Africa.

A statement released by South African Police suggest that Peter Roebuck, who also wrote for Indian newspapers, took away his own life.

"This office can confirm that an incident occurred last night at about 21:15 at a hotel in Claremont where a 55-year-old British national who worked as an Australian commentator committed suicide," the statement said.

The newspaper said Roebuck was in an agitated state and suggested one of the police officers was still in his room when Roebuck jumped to his death.

The former opening batsman turned journalist is believed to have jumped to his death from the sixth floor of his hotel in Cape Town, where he was covering the Test series between South Africa and Australia.

Worked as a broadcaster for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Peter Roebuck also wrote for the nation's Fairfax newspapers, was covering Australia's test series with Proteas when he was found dead outside his hotel in Newlands, according to media reports.

Police spokesman Capt. Frederick van Wyk said it was suicide but would not give further details on the nature of the death and could not elaborate on reports that Roebuck had been questioned by police at the hotel earlier in the evening.

South African police authorities are awaiting a post-mortem report before proceeding with the investigations.

"An inquest can take a long time, it can be anything from six months to two or three years, but what is critical here is to get the autopsy reports, or what we call the post-mortem report," Colonel Vishnu Naidoo, South African Police Services said on Monday.

"We will be looking at that first and that can take four to six weeks, sometimes up to eight weeks. When we get that report, we can determine officially what his cause of death was, he added.

The 55 year old Roebuck, received a suspended jail sentence for common assault after admitting caning three teenage cricketers he had offered to coach in 2001. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to four months for each count with the sentences suspended for two years at the Taunton Crown Court.

While the police is investigating on the mystery behind Roebuck's death, cricketing fraternity and journalists are paying tribute to the renowned writer, the best critic who was known for giving harsh reality, analysis, who also held a mirror up to the society pointing out the issues that put him in a class of his own when compared to fellow journalists and cricket writers.


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