Barend Britz./ Photo the Independent
Barend Britz, the former flagship player of the USAP in the 90s, died last night after being violently assaulted Thursday night in his bar by a man who was arrested. The former South African rugby player, who retired from sport in 1996 at the age of 42, was going to celebrate his 64th birthday on December 14th.
Burning candles in front of the window. And in their dancing shadow, roses. Friends and customers gathered until late at night on Thursday around the bar of the Republic Square. Like to foil fate, or to extend time one last time. As if the boss, Barend Britz, and not the legendary former second-line USAP, would suddenly stand in front of them to share together a few more hours, tell our colleagues from the Independent.
A hyepr-violent aggression
As if not to be resolved by the terrible news that has come to light shortly before. They will not see him again. Barend Britz, who turned 64 on Dec. 14, succumbed to his injuries after being the target of a violent assault on Thursday night.
Around 9 pm, witnesses said at the time of the facts, an individual allegedly broke into the "Bar and Britz", the establishment run by the former South African rugby player. He would have thrown various objects on the window, then glasses and a carafe in the direction of the bar mimicking cries of animals from the entrance.
Nobody would have had time to realize. The boss would have come to meet the individual and would have faced him in front of the door. There, the agitator, who would have been equipped with an American fist, would have then hit him several times, especially at the level of the head. Some would have tried to help him, beaten in turn.
But Barend Britz, the colossus, collapsed to the ground. To never get up again. He was immediately taken in charge by the firefighters. In vain. While his fugitive aggressor was actively wanted by the police.
The suspect arrested
The suspect was finally arrested shortly afterwards and placed in custody. According to the first elements, he would be in his thirties and had already sown a mess several times, including Thursday afternoon again, in the bar, forcing the boss to dismiss him.
Even if Barend Britz, "true to his values" would have reached out to him in the past. This Thursday night, his friends and loved ones in shock, around his daughter of absolute dignity, could not bring herself to leave the place. Crying with simplicity "a generous man" that was believed "invincible". A great name in the world of rugby, also won by grief.