Ex-champ Gerrie in bout with the law

CAPE ARGUS

Court Reporter – Jade Witten

SA BOXING LEGEND IN COURT FOR FAILING TO REGISTER DENTAL BUSINESS

FORMER world champion boxer Gerhard “Gerrie” Coetzee is putting his gloves up against charges that he was running an unregistered dental business, making dentures for patients. Coetzee, 57, who lives in Table View, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday for being an “unregistered person practising as a dental technician or dental technologist without a required permit”. Africa’s first world heavyweight champion, wearing a white shirt and beige pants, shuffled into the dock. In his heyday, he was known as the Bionic Hand for his troubles with his right hand. Coetzee won the World Boxing Association (WBA) title in 1983. After retiring, he worked as a dental technician but has since hung up his dental tools and now runs a handyman business. It is alleged Coetzee had worked as a dental technician in October 2010 without being registered with the SA Dental Technicians Council. If convicted, Coetzee could be fined up to R10000.00. His lawyer, Keith Gess, wants the charges thrown out and told Magistrate Frederick Louw yesterday he intended making this request to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Prosecutor Dale Andrews told Louw the case was on the court roll last year and was postponed to March 21 this year for plea and trial. The State was under the impression the case had been struck from the court roll but it had in fact got lost in the system because it had been postponed to a public holiday. Andrews withdrew the old charge sheet and proceeded with a new one carrying the same charges. Gess asked the court to postpone the matter. Coetzee retired from boxing in 1993. He had 66 wins – one of them the world heavyweight title fight where he beat Michael Dokes – as well as three losses and a draw under his belt. He was warned to return to court on July 19.