Rassie Erasmus: ’We all deserve an opportunity to tell the truth’
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Cape Town - In a late-night tweet, Rassie Erasmus has said that his impending World Rugby misconduct hearing is “an opportunity to tell the truth without an option of hiding anything”.
On Thursday, World Rugby issued a statement on behalf of their independent disciplinary committee, which announced that SA Rugby’s director of rugby Erasmus will have an oral hearing at the end of the month to state his case following his 62-minute video that pointed out a number of questionable decisions by Australian referee Nic Berry and the rest of the match officials in the Springboks’ 22-17 first Test defeat to the British and Irish Lions.
Erasmus created the video about the July 24 clash at the Cape Town Stadium and sent it to World Rugby’s referees manager Joel Jutge, but the compilation of 26 incidents somehow found its way on to social media.
The chairman of the independent judicial panel is British lawyer Christopher Quinlan QC, who stated that Erasmus and SA Rugby’s misconduct hearing will be held on the weekend of October 30-31.
Quinlan will be assisted on the panel by Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) and Judge Mike Mika (New Zealand).
“Following the provision of detailed written submissions and evidence from Mr Erasmus, SA Rugby and World Rugby, a request was received from SA Rugby and Mr Erasmus for an oral hearing, which has been granted,” the statement read.
“The hearing date, set in consultation with the parties, is the earliest possible date taking into account previous commitments of all parties, participants and the multiple time zones involved. The independent disciplinary committee will publish a full written decision following the completion of the entire proceedings.”
At 12.47am on Friday morning, Erasmus responded on Twitter in typical style: “So lekka!! This is what we all deserve, players, coaches, supporters and referees: just to get an opportunity to tell the truth without an option of hiding anything!! Thats all!! Then anyone can make and informed decision on facts!! The way it should be!!”
So lekka !! This is what we all deserve, players ,coaches , supporters and referees: just to get an opportunity to tell the truth without an option of hiding anything!! Thats all!! Then anyone can make and informed decision on facts !! The way it should be!!— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) October 7, 2021
The former Bok coach and loose forward later tagged captain Siya Kolisi, vice-captain Handre Pollard, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Damian de Allende, Frans Malherbe, Makazole Mapimpi and Faf de Klerk to his tweet.
In the video, Erasmus expressed his frustration with the fact that referee Berry was unavailable to answer questions from the Bok team management on the Sunday after the Test, which meant that the players couldn’t fix any issues during practice on Monday and Tuesday.
The fact that Lions coach Warren Gatland questioned the appointment of a South African TMO, Marius Jonker, in the build-up to the first Test also contributed to Erasmus’ annoyance, and he also addressed the controversy around being a water-carrier on the sidelines.