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SAHRC 'We have the evidence'

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SAHRC dismiss reports they do not have the evidence to charge Etzebeth

When Eben Etzebeth was accused of assaulting and racially abusing two men in Langebaan in August, it was an ominous cloud hanging over the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup preparation.

The South African lock has maintained his innocence throughout and recently asked for the decision for his case to be referred to the Equality Court to be reviewed, insisting that the allegations are false and that he wants a “thorough, lawful investigation”.

Rapport recently reported that the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) did not have the evidence to prosecute, citing that executive head of the SAHRC, Adv Tseliso Thipanyane, had expressed concerns to commissioners that he had not seen any evidence.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Monday, however, SAHRC chair Bongani Majola contradicted his colleague and claims that the SAHRC has all it needs to proceed.

“There is no truth in those claims. [Thipanyane also said] ‘from the complainants we’ve got everything’. We have the evidence.

“We are prepared to go to court. When his application in the high court to stop us from going to the Equality Court is dismissed, then we will be ready to go.”

With Etzebeth’s appeal to review the decision currently preventing the case from proceeding, there is not currently a timeline as to when this issue will be resolved, with the Rugby World Cup-winner set to join up with Toulon. His appeal is reportedly based on the fact he does not believe there is enough evidence against him.

The Springbok lock agreed to join Toulon earlier this year, after having spent seven years with the Stormers in Super Rugby and enjoyed a short stint in Japan with NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes. The 85-times capped forward played a pivotal role in delivering South Africa’s second Rugby World Cup earlier this month and though he is departing the country, he is still expected to be one of the key components in Rassie Erasmus’ side as they build towards defending their title in France in 2023.

If found guilty, however, Etzebeth’s future with the Springboks could become far less certain, with the incident potentially proving divisive in a group that was celebrated for its unity during the recent Rugby World Cup.

Watch: Matt Toomua has his targets set on the Australian fly-half jersey

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SAHRC dismiss reports they do not have the evidence to charge Etzebeth
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