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From SA Rugby's response to SAHRC probe - Five must-read stories on Eben Etzebeth

15 October 2019 - 12:25 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has denied assaulting a homeless man or using racial slurs.
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has denied assaulting a homeless man or using racial slurs.
Image: BackpagePix

Embattled Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth continues to make headlines as he fights back, challenging SA Human Rights Council (SAHRC) acting legal head, Buang Jones, for accusing him of "getting away with murder".

Here are five must-read stories on the Etzebeth saga:

Racial and physical abuse allegations

Jones confirmed in a media briefing that Etzebeth was being accused by four people of racially and physically abusing them during an altercation at a pub in Langebaan, Western Cape.

Jones said the commission had obtained instructions to seek monetary compensation of more than R1m.

SA Rugby 'can't just suspend' Etzebeth

SA Rugby boss Mark Alexander said the organisation can't suspend Etzebeth without completing its internal processes.

"We can't just suspend the player. What if it transpires in a few weeks that the player is actually innocent? He can take us to the cleaners. We have to protect the organisation."

Known for 'thuggery?'

Langebaan residents told the SAHRC that Etzebeth and his friends are known among community members for more than their alleged racism, but are also for "thuggery".

Sports minister: 'Etzebeth is innocent till proven otherwise'

Sports, art and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa said Etzebeth is innocent until proven guilty and he would wait until an investigation was completed before commenting further.

Etzebeth vs SA Human Rights Commission

The commission confirmed on Monday it had received a letter from legal representatives of Etzebeth, explaining he wants a review of the decision to institute proceedings against him in the Equality Court.

The letter also expressed concerns on the statement allegedly made by Jones, that Etzebeth "is used to getting away with murder" and that he "should be in a prison cell".

Jones is being investigated by the commission over the comments.