Embattled Eben Etzebeth to deal with assault, racial abuse charges
Cape Town - Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth’s high from on Saturday's Rugby World Cup victory may be short-lived as he returns with his medal to face the music.
Etzebeth will be immediately tasked with dealing with the assault and racial abuse charges against him.
Commissioners of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) are meeting on Saturday, to likely set down plans to oppose the high court application that Etzebeth’s legal team filed against them in the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg.
Last month, his legal representative filed an application in which Etzebeth asked the court to set aside the SAHRC’s proceedings against him. It was alleged that Etzebeth and a group of men assaulted, pistol-whipped and racially abused four others outside the Die Watergat pub in Langebaan on August 25.
Enver Wilsnach, Yoraya Papier, Mogamad Smith and Kay Lee Brook are suing Etzebeth for damages in excess of R1 million.
The complainants approached the SAHRC and the Equality Court.
Western Cape SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen said legal opinion obtained on the matter would be presented to the commissioners on Monday.
“The commissioners will be reflecting on this. I can’t speak for the other commissioners but I’m sure there will be a view to oppose the (Etzebeth’s) application,” said Nissen.
“As I understand it they can’t take us to court, because we are not the complainant; the people are the complainants and we are just acting as their legal representative.”
The Khoisan Defiance Campaign’s Sammy Claassen said he was hopeful that once Etzebeth returned the wheels of justice would turn faster.
“We observe the decision of the local magistrate (in the Hopefield Magistrate’s Court) to postpone the Eben Etzebeth case pending the outcome of the court application by Etzebeth in the South Gauteng High Court,” said Claasen.
“This decision of the magistrate is not in line with the law and should be reviewed.”