The Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Nicolette Bell, has dropped charges of assault against Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and his cousin Emile.
The charges emanate from an incident at a Langebaan club in August 2019, when two local residents said that the player had allegedly assaulted and racially abused them.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, says after a lengthy investigation, Bell has found that there are no prospects of a successful prosecution.
He says, “At the time, two local residents claimed that they were assaulted by Eben Etzebeth who also made racial slurs against them. After a protracted investigation, the two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was preferred against Emile Etzebeth.”
“Advocate Bell said in considering the onus she is of the view that there are no prospects of a successful prosecution and she, therefore, declined to prosecute the two men,” Ntabazalila adds.
BACKGROUND: Allegations of racial abuse haunt Eben Etzebeth:
Last year, SA Rugby cleared Etzebeth following an internal investigation into the incident.
SA Rugby has issued a brief statement saying that an independent investigation was conducted and that the case from their perspective is now closed.
Etzebeth admitted to being there but denied that he was guilty of any sort of abuse.
The Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), however, has still not completed its investigation after the incident was referred to them.