Published: Tue, October 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Controversial Eben Etzebeth case to go before Equality Court

Controversial Eben Etzebeth case to go before Equality Court

This is the view of parliament's portfolio committee on sports, arts and culture after allegations that Etzebeth racially abused a homeless man during a night out in the Western Cape.

Etzebeth also met with the human rights commission, the HRC, before flying to Japan with the Springboks squad.

South Africa's Eben Etzebeth will face Italy in the World Cup despite being accused of physical and racial abuse.

The Equality Court can hear cases if the NPA does not prosecute and usually hands out fines or community service. The details should become clearer on Friday.

The rugby administrative body announced the probe on the heels of the news that the South African Human Rights Commission would bring charges against the Springbok lock.

An SA Rugby spokesman said on Thursday: "SA Rugby reaffirms its commitment as a good corporate citizen to abide by any requirements placed on it or its employees by South African authorities".

He said in a statement after the allegations surfaced that it was "completely untrue and unfounded to claim that I physically or racially abused anyone ... multiple witnesses can corroborate that".

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Bok skipper Siya Kolisi batted the issue away when asked about it on Thursday: "I don't know what is happening, the management is dealing with it, but from our side we are just here to play and I know Eben is playing (on Friday)".

"I have to trust him to do some stuff on the field and win Test matches and he must trust me to believe him when he tells me something". We will ask for the criminal prosecution of Mr Etzebeth. "The case is in the hands of (prosecutors) and the HRC".

"They [Italy] will be really up for this game because they won't believe they can beat the All Blacks, but they will believe they can beat the Springboks".

Following reports yesterday the Springboks have confirmed in a statement that the Human Rights Commission will proceed with legal action.

"Every game is a knockout game for us now - if we slip up we're out of the competition so we've been incredibly focused", said Kolisi, following the team's captain's practice at the match venue.

He has played a part in both South Africa's games at the World Cup so far, starting in the loss to defending champion New Zealand and coming off the bench in a big win against Namibia on Saturday.

Italy coach O'Shea insisted that his team, the sole Six Nations side never to have reached a World Cup quarter-final, were not the ones in the spotlight despite having taken a maximum 10 points from their two opening games.

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