NPA still deciding on Etzebeth prosecution as Boks prepare for Canada

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will start on the bench against Canada on Tuesday while he waits for the NPA to decide whether he will face criminal charges for an alleged assault.
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will start on the bench against Canada on Tuesday while he waits for the NPA to decide whether he will face criminal charges for an alleged assault.
Image: BackpagePix

It has not yet been decided whether Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will be criminally prosecuted, says the lawyer representing two men he allegedly assaulted.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Friday announced that it had lodged a case with the Equality Court over an incident about six weeks ago, when Etzebeth allegedly used a racial slur during a confrontation in Langebaan, north of Cape Town.

SportsLIVE PODCAST SPECIAL: "Mark Alexander must step down" over Etzebeth - Claassen

The four complainants in the matter are seeking R1m in compensation, confirmed the SAHRC.

Etzebeth is set to play for the Springboks in their final Rugby World Cup pool game against Canada on Tuesday morning, with the lock named on the substitutes' bench.

SA Rugby has started an internal investigation into allegations that Eben Etzebeth racially abused a homeless man in Langebaan, Western Cape in late August 2019.

Lawyer Nigel Samuels told TimesLIVE on Monday night that the two men he represents were waiting for the prosecuting authority to decide on whether or not to prosecute Etzebeth.

"I spoke to the investigating officer today [Monday] and he said he is still waiting for a decision from the NPA on whether to prosecute or not," he said.

Samuels said he was aware that Etzebeth was facing a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, but could not confirm whether he was also facing an attempted murder case, as claimed by the SAHRC's Buang Jones on Friday.

Police told TimesLIVE on Monday that the charges for assault GBH, crimen injuria and pointing of a firearm - which was registered with Langebaan police - was "still under investigation".

"No one has been arrested, directly implicated or charged as yet," said police.

SAPS did not mention anyone by name, however, saying they could not do so until the person had been charged and appeared in court.

Meanwhile, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said in the build-up to the match against Canada that he was excited to lead his country.

"I'm just happy to be the captain. Being the first black captain [of the Springboks] isn't something that comes to mind; I'm just really happy for the huge privilege that it is ... for anybody who comes from my community or any community. I just want to represent all of the people there. Just being the Springbok captain is a huge privilege," said Kolisi.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X