Cape Town - More allegations of racism have been made at the South African Human Rights Commissionagainst Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and they may be used to strengthen the case against him.
Etzebeth is in hot water over an altercation at the Langebaan Yacht Club on August 24 during which he allegedly made racial slurs against coloured members of the club.
An eyewitness told the Weekend Argus that Etzebeth and his friends were intoxicated when they arrived at the yacht club, of which none of them are members, and became aggressive when they were confronted about breaking the club's rules. The incident escalated into an all-out brawl in which a number of club members sustained injuries.
Four complainants are claiming millions in damages from Etzebeth. The case was lodged at the Equality Court in Hopefield on Friday.
On Friday Jones, the acting head of the SAHRC, confirmed at a media briefing that they are investigating a number of other complaints against the 27-year-old who is currently in Japan for the Rugby World Cup.
According to Jones, Etzebeth and his so-called "Wolf Pack" - the friends who were involved in the yacht club incident - were "notorious" in Langebaan for their "thuggery".
The SAHRC will investigate the complaints against Etzebeth and his friends, as well as members of his family, with a view to possibly including them in the case lodge by the four complainants. Etzebeth's family is extremely influential in the town where they have a number of businesses.
"The nature of the complaint relates to the use of racial slurs. It also relates to the inability on the part of the South African Police Service to apprehend the Etzebeths in some of these incidents and is something that we will look into. We are going to engage with the provincial commissioner of the SAPS in the Western Cape to establish what happened in some of these instances that were reported to police and the police could not effect arrests," Jones said in a television interview later the same day.
Etzebeth, who has denied any wrongdoing, has ten days to file an answering affidavit.