The Khoisan Defiance Campaign says reports that Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has been cleared of any wrongdoing over a racially-charged incident are blatantly misleading.
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, the report was completed a while ago, but the governing body was advised not to make it public for legal reasons.
However, the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper reports that former judge Johann van der Westhuizen, who headed the investigation, found Etzebeth was not involved in racism or assault.
Despite judge Van der Westhuizen’s findings, a 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.
Reacting to Van der Westhuizen’s findings and the subsequent media reports thereof, the KGC was angry that it appeared as if Etzebeth was cleared of all wrongdoing, while there were still other ongoing investigations into the incident.
‘What a blatant and deliberate attempt by SA Rugby and the media to deliberately mislead South Africa about the Etzebeth case,’ KGC leader Sammy Claassen told TimesLive on Monday.
‘The news headlines created a false impression that a court of law acquitted and found Etzebeth innocent. This was false‚ incorrect and misleading.
‘The truth is that both the criminal and human rights cases are still continuing and no ruling has been made by any sitting judge or courts. Thus far both cases still need to go to trial for judgment.
‘It is only an internal SA Rugby investigation that cleared Etzebeth‚ but we expected that as we have no faith or trust in this cabal.
‘However, it is important to report that the criminal investigations and docket was handed to the National Prosecuting Authority and Etzebeth will know his fate once they have ruled on the case and evidence at hand.
‘The human rights case is still continuing against Etzebeth and is set for trial in the Equality Court.’
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