SA pledges ‘full cooperation’ in Etzebeth assault probe

SA pledges ‘full cooperation’ in Etzebeth assault probe

Eben Etzebeth during the South African national rugby team arrival press conference at Intercontinental Hotel, OR Tambo Airport on August 12, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

The 27-year-old was named in South Africa’s squad just a day after allegations on social media that he insulted, assaulted, and pointed a gun at a homeless man.

South Africa’s rugby body promised to cooperate fully with investigations after star lock Eben Etzebeth denied assaulting and racially abusing a homeless man in the build-up to the World Cup.

SA Rugby said it “will not tolerate acts of violence or racial abuse” and would take “appropriate action” once the investigation and legal process had unfolded.

“As good and law-abiding corporate citizens, SA Rugby have given our full cooperation in the Eben Etzebeth investigation and will continue to do so,” a statement said.

“We stand by our earlier comments that we will not tolerate acts of violence or racial abuse. SA Rugby will take appropriate action once the legal investigation and process have concluded,” it added.

SA Rugby said it would “adhere to whatever is decided” by state prosecutors and South Africa’s Human Rights Commission, who was handling the case.

Etzebeth, 27, was named in South Africa’s squad just a day after allegations on social media that he insulted, assaulted, and pointed a gun at a homeless man.

The 78-cap lock was interviewed by Human Rights Commission officials before flying out with the rest of the South African squad, who are among the favourites to win the World Cup in Japan.

“It is completely untrue and unfounded to claim that I physically or racially abused anyone as has been reported on social media,” the 27-year-old said last month in a statement.

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