Sport

RWC 2023 NEWSFLASH

‘Insufficient evidence’ – Bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi cleared in racial slur saga

‘Insufficient evidence’ – Bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi cleared in racial slur saga
Bongi Mbonambi during the Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool B match between South Africa and Tonga at Stade Velodrome on 1 October 2023 in Marseille, France. (Photo: Steve Haag / Gallo Images)

Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi will not face charges after England flank Tom Curry accused him of racially slurring him during their Rugby World Cup semifinal clash on Saturday.

A World Rugby statement said: 

“World Rugby has undertaken a review of allegations made by England’s Tom Curry in relation to the use of discriminatory language by South Africa’s Mbongeni Mbonambi during the England versus South Africa Rugby World Cup 2023 semifinal on Saturday along with a further allegation brought forward in recent days about a previous match in the Autumn Nations Series 2022.

“Any allegation of discrimination is taken extremely seriously by World Rugby, warranting a thorough investigation. Having considered all the available evidence, including match footage, audio and evidence from both teams, the governing body has determined that there is insufficient evidence at this time to proceed with charges. Therefore, the matter is deemed closed unless additional evidence comes to light.

“It is important to note that World Rugby accepts that Tom Curry made the allegations in good faith, and that there is no suggestion that the allegation was deliberately false or malicious.

“World Rugby is also concerned by the social media abuse that both players have been subjected to this week. There is no place in rugby or society for discrimination, abuse or hate speech, and World Rugby urges fans to embrace the sport’s values of respect, integrity and solidarity.” DM

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  • Steve Davidson says:

    “… insufficient evidence at this time”

    Let’s hope they drop this thing for all time!! And while I think Curry is a bit of a whinging pom and was maybe trying some gamesmanship with BOK, the only reason this whole catastrophe came to light was because of the disgusting English gutter press (aka the Daily Heil, Sun, Express and even maybe the Telegraph who are on the lookout for anything that can stir things up for any reason, particularly if it has anything to do with the Boks) who happened to hear it on the ref’s mike. A curse on all their houses. Now on with the game! Kom aan die Bokke!!

  • Graeme Bird says:

    Unsavoury swearwords aside the question that now needs to be answered is wether Tom Curry is guilty of the apparent accusation levelled at him by Mbonambi.

  • Iota Jot says:

    Meanwhile, the squad is announced: a 7-1 split but no room for Vincent Koch. I guess this bench split worked last time the Boks played the ABs, but it is a helluva risk to play the final with only one reserve backline player. Absolutely clear how they are going to play this one.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Many would say Wilnie Le Roux is not a backline player.

      He does not catch a contested high kick
      He hardly tackles.
      He would rather pass the ball to the linesman than be tackled.
      He play fullback but can’t kick for posts and can’t do long kicks for touch.

      I hope we don’t regret rather taking Esterhuyzen or Moodie…. Esterhuyzen is a monster on defense and attack. Moodie is very fast and has guts, can play 15 or 11 or 14. So if Faf goes off, Cheslyn takes 9 = we’re still sorted.

  • Andrew McWalter says:

    Goodness, I’m sure Tom Curry has faced many slurs of all shades over his career. By now, I imagine this is something one in his position would have realised, comes with the territory, however distasteful and vile it may be. I would be interested to know whether there is a record of any reporting from him of these past slurs. If not, what made this one so special now, so as to accuse someone, if not for revenge or some other malign intent, at having lost the game. One wonders?

  • Betsy Kuhn says:

    Hopefully next time Mr Curry will not be as sour..and think twice…all this is so unnecessary..especially for the Boks…maybe that is what they wanted, to upset the Boks…BUT It Blew up in there Faces, and we as STRONG as ever

  • Riaan Joubert says:

    I am still baffled by this incident. As far as I understand, the word used would not be considered as racists in South Africa. So good for world rugby. Maybe Tom Curry needed a Head Injury Assessment.

  • Pieter van de Venter says:

    Well, will IRB investigate Curry for targeting Bongi?

    Or will the IRB buy a Afrikaans->English dictionary for Curry. Due to Lord Milner’s stance, there is obviously a shortage in England.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    World Rugby is a lot of old farts(England Captain Will Carling)Did this happen a year ago?Great timing.Would the complaint have surfaced if England won?

  • dirktgevers says:

    “Good faith”? Ludicrous. I hope we’ll see more critical analysis on this from DM.

  • Matthew Quinton says:

    I grew up in Green Point, Cape Town.

    And “Wat er kant” I am.

    This whole debacle should have just been laughed off.

    Also… with all due respect, Curry is white and he is a bit of a k@nt.

    As an apparently white person myself, I don’t find that to be classifiable as a racial slur, even though it had a totally different meaning it was still an accurate description.

  • It is more probable that curry attempted to push for Bongi to get a red card so England could get a competitive edge to win the game than anything else. It’s a win at all all costs , using racism is not surprising in a society where murdoch media runs the narrative. Hoping that Argentina win tonight. It’s not impossible.

  • Eddie B says:

    The English reaction almost reminds me of the local Human Rights Commission. Except the HRC’s voracity and bravery is aimed at whites when something happens that might offend blacks.

    In addition to the available evidence, it is clear there was no intend here. Let’s go Bokke!

  • Gavin Hillyard says:

    Bongi is the only one who knows if he did or didn’t make the alleged comment or not.

  • Gavin Hillyard says:

    Benefit of the doubt to Curry who heard what he heard and assumed the worst. At best a language issue misinterpreted by Curry. Thumbs down to Steve Borthwick, who ignored the plausible explanation of the incident, and who went on national TV, coming across as if Bongi was guilty and decrying the official findings. Disgusting English gutter press and some social media posts from supporters of both sides of the issue.

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