SAHRC explains why it's taking Eben Etzebeth to the Equality Court

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is taking legal action against Springbok rugby player Eben Etzebeth for allegedly using a racial slur.

Etzebeth is currently in Japan, where the Springbok squad is competing at the Rugby World Cup.

He's accused of using a derogatory term allegedly during a scuffle with residents of Langebaan in the Western Cape back in August.

The commission says it will approach the Equality Court after receiving several complaints from some residents in the area.

Etzebeth had previously released a statement insisting that the allegations were untrue.

SAHRC provincial commissioner Chris Nissen says the allegations have to be tested in a court of law.

Nissen says he listened to several complainants both in a mass meeting and during one-on-one discussions.

One complainant has accused Etzebeth of hitting him on the head with a firearm. Another alleges that Etzebeth used a racial slur.

The SAHRC's legal services team will this week collect statements and video footage to support the case, Nissen explains.

I think the best thing is that we take this matter to the Equality Court, on the basis of what I've seen.

Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

Listening to the people, I think there are quite good grounds for us to go to Equality Court

Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

It doesn't mean that what I've heard and seen is correct. It must be tested in a court of law.

Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

The respondent [Etzebeth] needs to be given a fair opportunity to respond.

Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

We want a full, transparent investigation. If he is innocent or guilty, let the court deal with it.

Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SAHRC explains why it's taking Eben Etzebeth to the Equality Court


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