The firearm at the centre of the three criminal charges that are being investigated against Eben Etzebeth is apparently legally registered in the Springbok lock’s name.
According to Netwerk24, Nigel Samuels, the legal representative for the two complainants, confirmed to the publication that the police have confirmed this.
Enver Wilsenach and Siyaad Smith maintain that the 27-year-old lock uttered a racial slur towards them after they walked past Die Watergat, a popular hangout in Langebaan.
Samuels added that the two men reiterated that the ensuing brawl led to Etzebeth allegedly striking both on the head with the weapon, leaving Wilsenach unconscious.
To compound Etzebeth’s woes, Samuels noted that the official police docket contains an affidavit from an unidentified woman, who alleges he pointed the weapon at her and a minor.
“We’re still waiting on one statement, the medical records from the relevant state hospital,” said Samuels. “We’re also waiting on DNA results from the weapon.”
Eric Ntabazalila, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape, said no decision had been made on charging Etzebeth yet.
The revelation comes amid the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) approaching the Equality Court in Vredenburg to lodge a complaint of hate speech against Etzebeth and several other members of his party related to an incident at the Langebaan yacht club in the Western Cape.
Buang Jones, head of legal services at the SAHRC, confirmed to several news outlets that Etzebeth’s continued participation at the Rugby World Cup would “only be determined” by the court.
But Andre Calitz, Etzebeth’s lawyer, insists his client is innocent.
“He was never involved in any of the alleged incidents. We have no need to change the story, because it’s the truth,” he said.
Meanwhile, Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi on Thursday said that the saga wasn’t affecting the national team negatively in the build-up towards a crucial meeting with Italy in Shizuoka on Friday.
“To be honest, I don’t know what’s really happening back in South Africa,” said Kolisi.
“I think SA Rugby issued a statement this morning. I know Eben is playing this week.
“Eben’s in a good space; we’ve just been preparing for the game. Every game for us is now a playoff game because if we slip up we’re out of the competition.”
Mzwandile Stick, assistant coach, sang from the same hymn sheet.
“At the moment, Eben’s full-out for the World Cup. He’s going to be playing tomorrow and he’s going to be focusing on the game,” he said.
“He’s been in a good space as a team player and also the players around him in the squad are in a good space.”
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Sports, Art and Culture also weighed in on the matter and believes the matter is “sensitive” and could have been handled differently.
“The matter could have been handled differently and SA Rugby and the Human Rights Commission should improve on dealing with matters of this nature,” committee chair Beauty Dlulane said on Thursday.
“The approach in handling these matters should be corrective and not what appears to be a media embarrassment of Mr Etzebeth and distraction to South Africa’s participation at the World Cup.
“Running commentary in the media, especially given the seriousness of what Mr Etzebeth is alleged to have done, will not solve anything.”