The criminal charge against a former Blue Bulls rugby player, who allegedly assaulted a 26-year old Pretoria dentist outside a pub in the city two weeks ago, has been elevated to the more serious charge of assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
Police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach told News24 that this was due to the extent of the injuries Markus Botes sustained.
However, he added: "A warning statement must still be obtained from the suspect."
Hendré Stassen is accused of assaulting Botes during the early hours of June 15.
A J88 medical letter (generated by the Department of Justice), which News24 has seen, states that Botes will have to undergo a corrective surgery for his injuries.
Netwerk24 spoke to Stassen's lawyer, Riaan Louw, who said he was communicating with the police about the matter.
Netwerk24 also reported that private investigator Mike Bolhuis is investigating a separate case of assault, where his client accused Stassen of beating him outside a night club in Pretoria.
News24 has attempted to get comment from Bolhuis. It will be added once received.
Several efforts have also been made to get Stassen's side of the story. He is currently playing for a club in France.
Botes previously told News24 that he was at Mystic Bull restaurant in Hatfield with friends when he ran into the sister of one his former classmates at the University of the Western Cape, where they both studied dentistry.
The woman happened to be Stassen's ex-girlfriend, he said.
After leaving Mystic Bull, they all went to another pub in Lynwood where they had a few drinks and danced. Stassen was there.
Botes was about to go home. He and the woman were walking to the parking lot when Stassen approached them and started talking to the woman.
While he was speaking to her, Botes said he noticed that Stassen was standing in an "aggressive posture".
"I saw that he was very aggressive and I left it. I was on my way home and my Uber [taxi] was there already. Just before I got into my Uber, I heard a voice behind me asking: 'Markus, het jy haar gesoen?' (Did you kiss her?)," said Botes.
He claimed that everything happened very fast and that the player was on top of him, punching him. People who were in the parking lot tried to stop the rugby player from hitting him, he added.