SA Rugby’s independent investigation relating to claims about a racially-charged incident involving Eben Etzebeth in Langebaan has cleared the Bok lock of any wrongdoing.
Etzebeth and a group of friends and family had been accused of being involved in an incident of assault and racial abuse during a night out in Langebaan in the Western Cape on the eve of the Boks’ World Cup squad announcement, which has led to a widespread backlash.
SA Rugby instituted an internal investigation into the matter and according to Rapport newspaper, the report was completed a while ago, but the governing body was advised not to make it public for legal reasons.
However, Rapport reports that former judge Johann van der Westhuizen, who headed the investigation, found Etzebeth was not involved in racism or assault.
Van der Westhuizen ruled in his findings that:
- No grounds can be found for a case against Etzebeth.
- SA Rugby is advised to have a conversation with Etzebeth to make him thoroughly aware of the consequences that the actions of other people may have for him and how it may put him in a bad light.
- SA Rugby must have such talks with all Springboks. Players need to be aware of the damage that people close to them can cause.
Despite judge Van der Westhuizen’s findings, Human Rights Commission case against Etzebeth is still pending until the hate speech charge against former broadcaster Jon Qwelane was settled, while the NPA has not yet decided whether it will prosecute the player.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images