Springbok Etzebeth quizzed over alleged abuse of homeless man

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Springbok Eben Etzebeth is set to leave Johannesburg Friday for the World Cup in Japan after being quizzed by a human rights watchdog over his alleged abuse of a homeless man.

South Africa Rugby said the lock had met South African Human Rights Commission officials Thursday regarding social media allegations of an incident in a town in the western Cape last Sunday.

Etzebeth, who has been used as a stand-in Springboks skipper, allegedly insulted, assaulted and pointed a gun at a 42-year-old man in Langebaan and police are investigating.

"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 this week in a statement.

SA Rugby said the purpose of the meeting between Etzebeth and the Commission was for the body to discuss a complaint it had received about the 78-cap Springbok.

"Both parties expressed their satisfaction with the envisaged process going forward and concluded by describing the meeting as constructive," an SA Rugby statement said.

"The player denied any wrongdoing to the Commission and has pledged his full co-operation in the matter."

Etzebeth is certain to be part of the South Africa team that will play defending champions New Zealand on September 21 in the opening World Cup Pool B match for both nations.

South Africa have won the World Cup twice and New Zealand three times and they are among the favourites to lift the trophy after the November 2 final.