Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has been reportedly cleared of wrongdoing through an internal investigation looking into his alleged involvement in an assault in Langebaan.
The Toulon player was embroiled in allegations of racial abuse and assault on the eve of the announcement of the Bok world cup squad.
Eben Etzebeth cleared
This is after four men claimed that Etzebeth and his friends had used racial slurs during a confrontation outside Cape West Coast nightclub in Langebaan.
An independent investigation conducted by retired Judge Johann van der Westhuizen has absolved the World Cup winner of any wrongdoing in the incident.
The findings were made months ago, with SA Rugby advised not to make them public at the time the investigation was concluded.
Etzebeth's lawyer Andre Calitz welcomed the outcome of the investigation.
"From the beginning, we've found it was unnecessary to change our case. Eben has not pleaded guilty at any stage to defamation or assault and has maintained his innocence at all times."Andre Calitz
Langebaan incident closed
While SA Rugby has declared the matter closed, there is still a pending case at the Equality Court.
This is after the case was withdrawn from the High Court by mutual consent.
Etzebeth has vehemently maintained his innocence throughout the controversy. Midway through the 2019 Rugby World Cup, revealed that he was taking the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) – which represented the alleged victims – to court over its handling of the allegations levelled against him.
– to court over its handling of the allegations of the racially-motivated violence levelled against him.
At the time news of the Langebaan
At the time news of the Langebaan incident broke, SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus – then also serving as head coach – said he was comfortable with what he was told by the player regarding the allegations.
"If anything like that happens and it happens to be the truth' a person like that wouldn't be part of our team and wouldn't go to the World Cup."Rassie Erasmus
Etzebeth is currently in France, where he has recently signed a contract extension with Toulon.