Eben Etzebeth. Picture: STEVE HAAG/GALLO IMAGES
Eben Etzebeth. Picture: STEVE HAAG/GALLO IMAGES

SA's rights watchdog will take legal action against Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth who faces allegations of assaulting and racially abusing a homeless man before the World Cup.

The SA Human Rights Commission said it “will institute legal proceedings against Mr Eben Etzebeth in the equality court” on Friday.

Etzebeth, 27, allegedly insulted, assaulted and pointed a gun at a 42-year-old homeless man in Langebaan, 120km north of Cape Town in August. He was named in SA’s squad for the World Cup in Japan just a day after the allegations surfaced on social media.

The 78-cap lock was interviewed by Human Rights Commission officials before flying out with the SA squad. He denied the allegations. The commission said it would meet the complainant on Thursday to take further instructions.

“We will definitely ask for monetary compensation, we will ask for a public apology, we will ask for criminal prosecution of Mr Etzebeth, we will ask for community service and other forms of relief,” Buang Jones, acting head of legal services at the commission, said.

The commission will hold a public meeting on Thursday in the town. “The community are demanding justice, so we are going to give them a platform to ventilate around this matter,” said Jones.

The commission will approach the SA Police Service to ask it to look into claims of bias against a police officer who initially investigated the matter, he said.

SA Rugby has said it will co-operate fully with investigations and promised to “take appropriate action once the legal investigation and process have concluded”.

AFP