Champ ‘not guilty’



November 15, 2016
Champ ‘not guilty’


Martial arts teacher says he was wrongfully branded, arrested as a poacher.

A South African Kung Fu Champion and martial arts teacher wants to clear his name after he was arrested with 18 suspected poachers during a bust in Hout Bay.

Police seized poached perly worth R1 million, as well as a rubber duck, diving equipment and two vehicles.

A year ago Peter Michaels, 24, of Hout Bay represented South Africa in Indonesia, China and Hong Kong at the Kung Fu world championships, where he achieved sixth place.

Peter, who is the manager and martial arts teacher at Harvest Youth Project in Hout Bay, was arrested on October 19.

He spent time in Pollsmoor Prison but the charges were withdrawn before he could enter a courtroom.

Peter says he was asleep at work when he was woken up by the sounds of gunshots.

“I heard the gunshots and called my boss thinking it’s riots again in Hout Bay,” he says.

“She said a security guard of ours was shot (with a rubber bullet) and I raced outside.”

“I saw the security with police and the next moment someone grabbed me and tied my hands and then they shot me with a rubber bullet in my thigh. They said I am keeping me slim and that I must keep quiet.”

He says the other suspects tried telling cops he was innocent but they wouldn’t listen.

Peter says three days later he was released after cops realised their mistake, but the incident has left him feeling humiliated.

“The police came and spoke to my boss, who confirmed my job here. I felt bad because a lot of youth here look up to me. I am not a poacher.”

Peter is now recording a song, “Not guilty”, about his ordeal.

Police did not respond to Daily Voice queries.

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