Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and around “12-15” people arrived at popular Langebaan watering hole ‘Die Watergat’ at around 23:00 on Saturday night, says pub owner Riaan Reeders.
An incident inside the bar then took place at around midnight, which saw one man involved in a scuffle in the upstairs section of the bar with certain members of Etzebeth’s party.
That incident, Reeders says, has resulted in the man who was removed from the premises opening a police case against members of the group.
Reeders says that Etzebeth and his friends then left the pub at around 02:00 on Sunday morning and were then involved in another incident that took place in the streets.
“At around 02:00 Eben and his friends left, and then there was a group of people at the centre across the road from us,” Reeders said on Monday morning.
“Something happened there … I’m not sure what happened with the fighting, or whatever, with the Etzebeths. I wasn’t there and I can’t tell you what happened.”
Reeders said he recognised some of the people accompanying Etzebeth.
“It was Eben, his brother Ryen, his cousin Emile and the other people I didn’t know. They weren’t local people,” said Reeders.
“There were about 12-15 of them, but the wives and girlfriends were with them. Eben’s girlfriend was there and Ryen’s wife was there.”
Reeders says the incident that happened in his bar was resolved quickly, and that in his mind it had nothing to do with what happened in the street afterwards.
“It wasn’t a related incident. It was just a guy … it happened upstairs and we took him out,” he said.
“I don’t know if there was charges laid there from that group (the incident in the street). I suppose there will be, because the one man was hurt quite badly.”
Reeders said he had examined the CCTV footage from the incident inside his bar, and that Etzebeth had not been involved in the scuffle.
“Eben and his brother were not involved in that,” he said.
“I looked at the footage yesterday morning and they were sitting at the table with the women or whatever … they weren’t part of it.
“This comes after media reports on Monday placed Etzebeth at the centre of the incident that took place in the street and moved the 27-year-old star lock to publicly defend himself.
“It is completely untrue and unfounded to claim that I physically or racially abused anyone in Langebaan as has been reported on social media. Multiple witnesses can corroborate that,” Etzebeth stated.
“I am and will always strive to be a true ambassador to this beautiful rainbow nation and the sport that I love.”
Etzebeth, who has 78 Tests to his name, is expected to be named in Rassie Erasmus’ 31-man World Cup squad on Monday at 15:00.
The Boks play New Zealand in Yokohama in their tournament opener on Saturday, September 21.