The Freedom Front Plus has accused the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) of bias in the handling of the case of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth. The party says the SAHRC has already found Etzebeth guilty without affording him an opportunity to defend himself.
This after the SAHRC’s acting legal head, Buang Jones said on Thursday that they would use the rugby player to set an example of the consequences of hate speech in Langebaan in the Western Cape.
Etzebeth is accused of assaulting two men in an alleged racial incident.
FFP leader Pieter Groenewald says Jones’ remarks are proof that the SAHRC is biased.
“The aim of the Human Rights Commission is to be objective, to be unbiased and these sort of remarks is proof that they are biased. The Freedom Front Plus, for instance, has laid many charges for instance against the leader of the BLF for hate speech, but they just don’t act on the complaints we lay. So, why suddenly, this urgency?”
The SAHRC says the law must take its course in the matter of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth. It says the complainants in his matter have asked for financial compensation of over R1 million.
The SAHRC has formally lodged an application for the alleged racism slur complaints against the Springbok lock to be heard in the Equality Court in Hopefield on the West Coast.
Jones says the court will determine whether Etzebeth contravened the Equality Act.
“We have since reconsidered our position as the Human Rights Commission. Instead of embarking on a protracted investigation process, we should take this matter to the courts to pronounce on whether or not the allegations against Mr Etzebeth are true or not. We have not made a finding against Mr Etzebeth. We are taking this matter to court. The allegations will be tested.”