SPRINGBOK lock Eben Etzebeth will face hate speech charges after all. This follows the decision by his lawyers to withdraw their review application in the Pretoria High Court to have the case withdrawn from the Equality Court.
“We are delighted as we were convinced from the start that the review application was just an attempt to delay justice and a legal tactic to frustrate and prolong the court processes and the victims involved in this matter,” a statement on behalf of the complainants read.
Etzebeth, who was part of South Africa’s world cup winning team, is accused of racially and physically abusing two men and two women in Langebaan in Cape Town. The Springbok, who was out on the night with friends a couple of days before the World Cup team was announced is accused of having started a fight with a white man and thereafter calling a Muslim family hotnots. They were allegedly thrown out of that venue and they went to another pub. At around 2:30 am, they allegedly brutally assaulted two men who were escorting two waitresses home, one of whom is 20 years old. Etzebeth is said to have gone to the car and returned with a gun and pointed it at the two young women. The men were so brutally attacked they ended up in hospital. The victims, with the help of community members, opened a criminal case of assault and another of hate speech later that day.
Etzebeth refuted these accusations and later applied for a review in the High Court on technical grounds, seeking clarification on a series of issues Eben Etzebeth Application pages 1-47 (1)The matter in the Equality Court was then suspended pending the outcome of the High Court. A new date for the hearing in the Equality Court will be set.
Meanwhile, the police docket on the assault charges was handed to the National Prosecuting Authority in November last year and the the prosecuting body is still to decide whether to prosecute.