As World Rugby investigates the incident where South Africa’s Bongi Mbonambi was accused of uttering a racial slur toward England’s Tom Curry, 5FM DJ Dan Corder has posted a video in which he throws cold water on the heated allegations against the Springbok hooker.
The burning question in rugby at the moment, is did Mbonambi really say what he is accused of to England’s Curry during their Rugby World Cup semi-final over the weekend.
Based on the evidence available to the public, it does indeed appear that Mbonambi was shouting ‘wit kant or wyd kant’ (Afrikaans for white side or wide side) during the passage of play, to indicate that England had the ball to his teammates.
Curry interpreted the Afrikaans words as English and a personal, racist, insult. Curry then went to referee Ben O’Keefe to lodge his complaint, only to be told by the official to not do anything about it - presumably for a citing commission to look into the matter after the clash.
What did Mbonambi say? Judge for yourself. If this is the incident, he deserves a massive apology pic.twitter.com/Exux7CU8Z2— Dan Corder 🎙 5FM Breakfast (@DanCorderOnAir) October 24, 2023
World Rugby investigate
Shortly after 11am on Monday, World Rugby released a statement confirming it was investigating the incident.
“World Rugby takes allegations of discriminatory behaviour extremely seriously,” read the statement.
“We can confirm that we are formally reviewing the allegation made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final on Saturday.
“World Rugby will not be making further comment until the conclusion of the process.”
The Siya Kolisi-led Springboks won the semi-final 16-15, after mounting a stunning comeback as they trailed 15-6 during the last quarter of the match. It means the Springboks will now take on the All Blacks in the final on Saturday.
There is little in the way of precedents for verbal abuse during a game, therefore it is unclear if Mbonambi will cop a ban if charges are laid and/or he is found guilty. Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber and Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus will have a nervous wait in store as a result.
However, in a worst case scenario for the Springboks, if Mbonambi is not allowed to play the final - they will have to rely solely on Deon Fourie in the hooker position. Fourie is not a specialist hooker, but has been preparing to provide cover in the position after the injury to Malcolm Marx earlier in the tournament.