Etzebeth's Langebaan assault and racial slur case finally put to bed
The Acting Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Nicolette Bell has declined to prosecute Springbok rugby forward Eben Etzebeth and his cousin Emile over a 2019 Langebaan assault.
According to various South African news outlets, Etzebeth’s cousin Emile appeared at the Hopefield magistrate’s court on Friday where he was charged with two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The World Cup-winning lock was cleared of all charges in August 2020. The South African Human Rights Commission had also brought a hate speech case against Etzebeth.
The charges stem from an incident on August 25, 2019, at a Cape West Coast nightclub in Langebaan during the early morning hours.
Two local residents claimed they were assaulted by Eben and Emile, as well as friends, who had allegedly also made racial slurs towards them.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazilila said Emile’s legal representatives had made representations to the acting director of public prosecutions to withdraw the charges.
“In evaluating the representations, the prosecution consulted with the two independent witnesses, upon which reliance was placed to institute the prosecution.
“The evaluation revealed that one of the independent witnesses could not identify the assailant who assaulted the two complainants, while the initial identification made by the second witness could not, following the consultation, be relied upon to sustain a prosecution.
“Regarding the evidence of the complainants themselves, one was unable to identify who his assailant was and in respect of the other, no reliance could be placed on his identification,” Ntabazilila said.
In making her decision, advocate Nicolette Bell said: “In meeting the onus of proving a case beyond reasonable doubt the court would have to consider the inherent probabilities and improbabilities of the case, the inherent strengths and weaknesses in both the state and defence’s case.
“In considering the onus, I am of the view there are no prospects of a successful prosecution. I, therefore, decline to prosecute Emile Etzebeth and Eben Etzebeth.”
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