Cape Town (AFP)
The second South African line Eben Etzebeth is officially targeted by a complaint for racial insults in his country, while currently participating in the Rugby World Cup that is played in Japan.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has confirmed that it has "formally lodged a complaint" with a court specialized in discrimination cases against Eben Etzebeth for uttering "racial slurs against four plaintiffs" in Langebaan ( southwest) in August.
"Community members said Etzebeth and his friends called themselves the pack of wolves, terrorizing communities" in the Western Cape province, SAHRC representative Buang Jones told AFP. a press point in Cape Town (southwest).
The plaintiffs claim financial compensation of more than one million rand (60,000 euros) and apologize to the community "colored", he said.
This incident does not seem an isolated affair as other cases of racism involving rugby have been reported, according to the SAHRC, citing a retiree who has made similar accusations.
According to Buang Jones, the police are investigating a possible attempted murder.
"We do not ask that Etzebeth be fired" from the World Cup, said Buang Jones.
"We want the Springboks to bring back the cup," said Chris Nissen of the SAHRC, noting that anyone is considered innocent until they are found guilty.
Friday, Eben Etzebeth participated in the match against Italy, the Springbok won hands down (49-3), opening the door of the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
The day before, the Springboks said they had opened an internal procedure for the second line of 27 years.
Just before his departure for Japan, the rugby player had been heard by the SAHRC before which he had denied the charges against him.
"All these statements are false, I am, and I will always do everything to be an ambassador of this beautiful rainbow nation and this sport that I adore," he said.
The case is making a splash in South Africa, where racism is still a sensitive topic a quarter of a century after the fall of the apartheid regime.
© 2019 AFP